Dominic Cummings flagrantly breached lockdown at height of pandemic

Peter Stoddart, YCL Student Officer

It has emerged that, senior No.10 aide Dominic Cummings travelled hundreds of miles from London to County Durham during the lockdown when he had virus symptoms. This comes after the resignation of Prof. Neil Ferguson, who ignored the law to visit his partner in another home. Back in April the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, Dr Catherine Calderwood was also forced to resign after flouting lockdown measures, which she herself had advocated for.

In the case of Cummings, who headed up the Vote Leave campaign, and is well known for his right wing views, and connections to alt-right forces in the USA, the situation is worsened by the fact that he was displaying symptoms of the virus. This means he was in breach of the crucial self-isolation guidance as well as wider ongoing lockdown legislation. He also travelled much further than both Ferguson and Calderwood, over 250 miles.  

These three cases highlight the privilege seemingly at the heart of the British establishment where it is one rule for us, and another for the general public, many of whom have not seen loved ones for over two months now.

Not only this, the response from key journalists like the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg has been laughable, as she was seen rushing to defend Cummings on Twitter saying no crime had been committed and the police were not involved. Durham Police later confirmed they had investigated the issue.

Kuennsberg argued that Cummings had not breached lockdown because he was going to his parents so they could look after his children as he was too ill. He was not too ill however, to drive for nearly five hours from London to Durham.

This is not the first time Kuenssberg has been caught passing on lines fed to her by senior Tory officials. Shortly before the general election last year, she reported that a Labour supporter had attacked the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, following a demonstration in Leeds. Video evidence later proved this was false, yet Kuenssberg was happy to report the supposed attack without verification.

Cummings’ unwillingness to obey the law highlights the selfishness and lack of care at the heart of Boris Johnson’s government and the ongoing response to the Coronavirus crisis. It is estimated that over 60,000 people have died as a result of the Virus.

Just as Neil Ferguson and Catherine Calderwood were pressured into resigning, so too must Dominic Cummings. Similarly, Kuennsberg’s continued sycophantic defence of the Tory party and their ministers and officials has long been worthy of dismissal. Amid wider changes at the BBC, she should be first to go.

Peter Stoddart

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