00:38 GMT26 May 2020
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    On 5 April, Boris Johnson’s top aide was spotted in Durham, in breach of nationwide lockdown regulations - the stay-at-home orders implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United Kingdom - according to a joint investigation by The Guardian and the Daily Mirror released on Friday.

    A new report by the Mirror claims that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, who was confirmed to be struggling with the COVID-19 disease, defied COVID-19 lockdown restrictions for the second time, after he was identified in Houghall Woods, Durham, two weeks after reports of his first trip to the town.

    Cummings, said to have traveled to visit his parents, was spotted on Sunday 19 April at a local beauty salon in Houghall Woods, according to the report. He commented to people passing by saying, “Aren’t the bluebells lovely?”

    In response to the report, Johnson's office said they would not “waste our time” answering “inaccurate reporting” by the Mirror and the Guardian newspapers on the UK PM's senior aide.

    “Yesterday the Mirror and Guardian wrote inaccurate stories about Mr Cummings. Today they are writing more inaccurate stories including claims that Mr Cummings returned to Durham after returning to work in Downing Street on 14 April. We will not waste our time answering a stream of false allegations about Mr Cummings from campaigning newspapers,” Downing Street said in a statement on Saturday.

    Friday’s reports on Johnson’s right-hand man traveling on 5 April some 400 km (250 miles) to northern England after potentially having been exposed to COVID-19, has sparked wide criticism, with the Labour Party calling for his speedy resignation.

    Johnson confirmed his key advisor's first journey to Durham, arguing that Cummings did not break coronavirus lockdown guidelines for all UK citizens as the political adviser made the journey to ensure that his young son be properly cared for after his mother tested positive for the novel virus.

    Later on Saturday, the prime minister resisted calls from the opposition party to fire his senior adviser, while meanwhile Number 10 ministers have expressed their support for Cummings.


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    Durham, rules, lockdown, Dominic Cummings, United Kingdom, UK
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