11:58 GMT08 August 2020
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    Dominic Cummings, a senior adviser to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, reportedly breached coronavirus lockdown rules when travelling from London to Durham in north-eastern England with his family amid the pandemic.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended his senior adviser Dominic Cummings, who reportedly ignored COVID-19 lockdown rules while travelling with his wife who had coronavirus symptoms.

    "I think that what they did was totally understandable. I think any father, any parent would frankly understand what he did and I certainly do", Johnson said at a news conference on Sunday.

    The UK prime minister also stated that he had held "extensive" conversations with Cummings and concluded that he acted "responsibly, legally and with integrity".

    According to the Daily Mirror, Cummings has been reported to the Durham Police for breaking the COVID-19 lockdown rules.

    Cummings stated earlier that he had travelled to Durham to be near extended family because his wife was showing COVID-19 symptoms. He reportedly thought that he was also infected and wanted to ensure that his four-year-old son was looked after.

    According to The Guardian, Cummings was spotted in Durham on 19 April, and at Barnard Castle, which is located 30 miles from Durham, on Easter Day. The Guardian reported on 23 May that UK ministers had insisted that Cummings stayed put once arriving at the property in Durham, where he was seeking support from his extended family as he had demonstrated coronavirus symptoms, along with his wife.

    In response to the British media reports, a Downing Street spokeswoman said that the stories, particularly from the Mirror and The Guardian, were inaccurate.

    "We will not waste our time answering a stream of false allegations about Mr Cummings from campaigning newspapers", the spokeswoman said in a statement on Saturday.

    Following the reports about Cummings, calls for his resignation have gained momentum. Cummings was at the helm of the Vote Leave campaign and took part in the development of the British government’s coronavirus strategy.

    breaking rules, rules, lockdown, coronavirus, COVID-19, Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson
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