Pressure on Boris Johnson to sack Dominic Cummings has intensified, as at least 18 Conservative MPs publicly called on the adviser to face the consequences of breaking lockdown rules. The prime minister backed his senior aide at a defiant press conference on Sunday, saying it had been within the rules for Cummings to drive his family 264 miles to his parents’ estate in Durham while his wife was suffering coronavirus symptoms. He claimed his adviser had acted “responsibly, legally, and with integrity” and followed his instincts as a father by travelling to seek possible backup childcare for his four-year-old son. Key questions remain unanswered by Downing Street, including whether Cummings stopped at any service stations en route to Durham, potentially infecting other travellers when the whole family should have been in isolation, and whether he later made a 30-mile day trip to Barnard Castle from Durham with his family at a time when non-essential journeys were banned. Johnson’s defence of Cummings failed to staunch an outpouring of anger among Tory MPs, who are receiving furious messages from their constituents. The prime minister was due to hold a cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss the lifting of the lockdown but plans… Read full this story
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