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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended his chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, who mentioned in an announcement Monday that he didn’t remorse driving 260 miles from London throughout the nation’s coronavirus lockdown while showing symptoms of the virus.
Johnson has stood by Cummings, saying he “followed the instincts of every father and every parent.”
“I really feel that it would be wrong of me to try to comment further. I think people will have to make their minds up. I think he spoke at great length. To me, he came across as somebody who cared very much about his family and who was doing the best for his family,” Johnson added. “I think, as he said himself, reasonable people may disagree about some of the decisions that he took, but I don’t think reasonable people can disagree about what was going through his head at the time and the motivations for those decisions.”
“Of course I do regret the confusion and the anger and the pain that people feel,” Johnson mentioned on the authorities’s each day information briefing, as The Related Press reported. “That’s why I wanted people to understand exactly what had happened.”
Johnson also said, “I do not believe that anybody in Number 10 has done anything to undermine our messaging,” referring to his Downing Road workplace.
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Making a public assertion, an uncommon play for an adviser, Cummings advised reporters within the Downing Road backyard Monday that he believed he was appearing “reasonably” and throughout the confines of the regulation in making the cross-England journey to take care of his spouse and kids, the BBC reported.
While displaying symptoms for COVID-19, Cummings drove from his dwelling in London to his mother and father’ Durham farm on March 27, only some days after Johnson had carried out a nationwide lockdown. Within the press convention Monday, he insisted he made one other journey 30-miles away to Barnard Fortress on April 12 to verify his eyesight and ensure it was protected for him to drive again to London.
“I don’t think I am so different and that is one rule for me and one rule for other people,” he mentioned.
Johnson’s lockdown banned all non-essential journey, however Cummings was noticed getting into the Durham property with ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” blasting from his automobile. After touring to Barnard Fortress on April 12, he returned to Durham on April 19.
Cummings, who normally has exerted energy from the sidelines, seemed uncomfortable however didn’t admit fault throughout a stay media grilling that lasted greater than an hour.
He mentioned that individuals felt “understandable anger,” however insisted a lot of it was “based on reports in the media that haven’t been true.” Nonetheless, he confirmed most of the small print in media studies of his travels, together with the journey to Durham and an April 12 drive to a scenic city half an hour away — taken, Cummings mentioned, to verify whether or not his eyesight, which had been affected by sickness, had recovered sufficient for him to drive.
“I don’t think there is one rule for me and one rule for other people,” he mentioned, insisting he had accomplished what he thought was proper on the time.
He mentioned he hadn’t thought of resigning. Requested whether or not Johnson ought to take into account sacking him, Cummings mentioned: “That’s not for me to decide. It’s up to him to decide.”
The 48-year-old Cummings has been important to Johnson’s rise to energy. He was one of the architects of the profitable marketing campaign to take Britain out of the European Union and orchestrated Brexit champion Johnson’s thumping election victory in December.
5 months on from that triumph, Johnson’s authorities has confronted criticism for its response to the pandemic. Britain’s official coronavirus dying toll has stood at over 36,000.
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Johnson himself spent a number of days in intensive care at a London hospital in April.
The U.Ok. step by step has been easing its lockdown, initially by permitting extra out of doors recreation. The federal government deliberate to reopen colleges beginning on June 1, and Johnson mentioned Monday that the overwhelming majority of retailers in England will be capable of open two weeks later, so long as they’ll develop into “COVID-19 secure.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.