10:27 GMT26 November 2020
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    The prime minister's right-hand man is facing criticism and calls to resign after making a trip from Westminster to his parents' home in Durham with COVID-19 symptoms during the lockdown to ensure childcare for his 4-year-old son.

    According to UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given his full support to his senior adviser Dominic Cummings after reports emerged that he travelled 400 km (250 miles) to northern England with COVID-19 symptoms.

    "I can tell you that the PM provides Mr Cummings with his full support", Mr Shapps said.

    Earlier, 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.

    Following the report, the British government issued a statement saying that Cummings did not break coronavirus lockdown guidelines when he took the journey as he made it to ensure that his young son could be properly cared for.

    Following the incident, Mr Cummings has faced backlash and calls for resignation, but answering questions from reporters, the prime minister's right hand said that he will "obviously not" step down.

    "You guys are probably all about as right about that as you were about Brexit: do you remember how right you all were about that?" Cummings said. 

    UK Labour Party Calls for Inquiry Into Cummings' Lockdown Trip

    Meanwhile, the UK's opposition Labour Party has called for an urgent inquiry into Cummings' reported lockdown trip.

    "The British people have made important and painful sacrifices to support the national effort, including being away from family in times of need. It is therefore vital that the government can reassure the public that its most senior figures have been adhering to the same rules as everyone else", Rachel Reeves, Labour's cabinet office minister in waiting, stated.

    Previously, after the report of the incident emerged, it gave the opposition a handle to call on Johnson to sack Cummings, saying that the lockdown rules made it clear that those with suspected COVID-19 symptoms should isolate with their whole household.

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

    UK Labour Party, lockdown, coronavirus, COVID-19, Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson, U.K
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