PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson´s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings has refused to resign over the breaking of lockdown guidelines.
The row over Johnson´s “behind the scenes” operator forced Cummings into producing a statement and running a news conference in the 10 Downing Street garden.
It was almost an unprecedented event as by convention, political advisers are always meant not to make public comments.
The issue that forced Cummings out into the garden was the revelation that he flouted the coronavirus lockdown by driving 250 miles from London to Durham.
He told the assembled media that he did not offer to resign over the controversy.
In a lengthy statement, Cummings said he believed he had acted reasonably and had not violated the lockdown rules.
“I did what I thought was the right thing to do,” Cummings said in response to questions afterwards.
He refused to apologise when asked to do so on a number of occasions, but admitted that he understood why people were angry.
“I think…I behaved reasonably,” he commented.
Cummings explained that he had wanted to ensure his four-year-old son could be properly cared for if he fell ill.
He said he was also motivated to be somewhere more remote after receiving threats of violence over his role in Downing Street.
Cummings argued he acted “legally” — pointing to a clause in the lockdown guidelines that allows for exceptional childcare circumstances — and added: “I think the people like me who make the rules should be held accountable for their actions.”
He said some will think he breached the lockdown rules, adding: “I know the intense hardship and sacrifice the country has had to go through, however I respectfully disagree.”
Many people right across the political spectrum have called on Mr.Cummings to resign after news of his journey to Durham became public over the weekend.