00:32 GMT01 June 2020
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    Boris Johnson's aide is facing calls to resign following reports that he travelled from London to his parents' home in Durham with COVID-19 symptoms during the lockdown.

    Dominic Cummings, an adviser to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, went on a journey during lockdown to ensure that his child could be cared for - which was in line with social distancing guidelines, according to Downing Street.

    No 10 points out that Cummings, who has been heavily criticised for flouting self-isolation, himself believes that he behaved reasonably and legally.

    "Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for. At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported. His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally", a Downing Street spokesman said.

    These comments come shortly after The Guardian and the Daily Mirror published a joint investigation, which revealed that Cummings took a trip to his parents' house in Durham just a day after he confirmed that he had been self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms.

    Sources cited in the report said that Cummings travelled to Durham to make sure that his parents could take care of his son in the event that he and his spouse would be unable to look after him.

    Separately, the report said that the police investigated the matter and found he was staying in "part of a house" at a Durham address, and "officers explained to the family the arrangements around self-isolation guidelines and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel".

    Following the bombshell revelation, the Labour Party has demanded a "swift explanation" from the Tory government, while the Lib Dems urged Cummings to resign if he indeed broke the social distancing rules.

    "Dominic Cummings should have done the right thing, he should have resigned but now that he hasn't, Boris Johnson must show leadership and he must remove him from office immediately," the Scottish National Party's parliamentary leader, Ian Blackford, said.

    UK guidelines suggest people should stay at home and refrain from visiting family members unless they need essentials such as food or medication.

    Tags:
    Boris Johnson, coronavirus, COVID-19, Downing Street, lockdown, UK, Dominic Cummings
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