YouGov poll finds 68% of Britons think Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules by taking his family to Durham and more than half think he should resign – as Twitter users brand him a ‘hypocrite’
- Boris Johnson’s chief aide caused a stir after travelling from London to Durham
- Heartbroken Brits reveal the lengths they’ve gone to in order to stick to the rules
- Ministers have defended the 48-year-old strategist after the incident in March
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
More than two-thirds of Brits think Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules by driving to Durham while in self-isolation, with more than half believing he should resign, a snap poll has found tonight.
The survey of 3,707 adults, carried out by YouGov today, found just 28 per cent think he should stay on, and another 20 per cent on the fence.
Lockdown-abiding Brits have told heartbreaking stories of sacrifice as they slammed the ‘hypocrisy’ of the Prime Minister’s chief aide, who, it emerged last night, drove 260 miles to his parents’ home, despite clear restrictions ordering people to stay at home.
Amid calls for Downing Street to sack the 48-year-old strategist, ministers have today defended Mr Cummings and denied he broke the rules by taking his wife and son to stay with relatives in March.
A No10 spokesman insisted the journey was ‘essential’ to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.
However, his actions have sparked fury among members of the public, who have taken to social media to tell of the emotional moments they’ve missed while following the Government guidelines.
The Prime Minister’s chief aide, pictured today, caused a stir when it emerged he’d travelled all the way from London to Durham, despite clear restrictions ordering people to stay at home
The YouGov poll tonight also revealed Conservative voters were split over whether he should retain his position, with 41 per cent of those who responded saying he should quit while 43 per cent want him to remain as senior adviser to Boris Johnson.
Chris Curtis, political research manager at YouGov, said: ‘These are clearly troubling numbers for the Government and Mr Cummings.
‘The public already thought that the Government was too hasty in lifting parts of lockdown and it’s likely they will be even less impressed if key public figures are perceived to have broken rules they think are not strict enough.
‘Of course, the Government will be hoping everyone quickly moves on from a story about a relatively unknown adviser, but it’s going to be tough when the public thinks he was wrong and that he should go.’
Taking to social media to react to the news, people today said they had not left their home to see their family since February, while others said the reports were making their ‘blood boil’.
One user, who gave his name as Tony, tweeted that he was unable to hug his father at his mother’s funeral, saying he was ‘frankly appalled’.
He said: ‘The lack of care or thought for other people in not following the necessary guidelines to ‘flatten the curve’ by someone who was self-proclaiming their infection with the virus.
‘The hypocrisy is unbelievable.’
One social media user revealed he couldn’t hug his father at his mother’s funeral due to lockdown rules
A new mother told of how she had to be induced into labour alone without her mother
Another user described how her husband, who works as a doctor, hasn’t held his baby for nine weeks
Katie Hall was one of many to describe having to remain distant from parents, which she said made her ‘blood boil’
Another user spoke of how people have only been able to attend funerals virtually, via computers
Nat Reed said she hasn’t seen her parents since February, despite negative coronavirus tests
Another user, Katie Hall from Yorkshire, said: ‘I’m five miles from my shielding parents…we’ve only seen them at a distance to drop off food…my children haven’t seen them at all apart from digitally…the ‘he was with his parents’ stuff is making my blood boil.’
Other heartbreaking stories included that of a father, who hasn’t been able to hold his baby for nine weeks, and a mother who had to be induced into labour alone, without her mother in the delivery suite.
People have been asked to follow restrictions since they were brought in on March 23, which has kept many people apart from loved ones for months.
User, Rachel Kerry, tweeted: ‘My Dad died at Easter. I couldn’t go to see him to say goodbye, couldn’t go to comfort my Mum and there were four of us, socially distancing, at his funeral so couldn’t even hold my Mum’s hand. Why is DC so f****** special?!’
Others hit out at the fact that Mr Cummings displayed coronavirus symptoms ‘over the weekend’ of March 28 and 29, and questioned why the public should continue following restrictions.
User Nat Reed tweeted: ‘My parents, in their late 70’s, have been tested in the last week, as have I. All were negative and they live less than an hour away.
‘I haven’t seen them since February and am still fighting all my instincts that say to jump in the car but beginning to wonder why!’
Earlier today, a defiant Mr Cummings responded ‘who cares’ when he was asked by reporters whether his actions looked bad
Earlier today, a defiant Mr Cummings responded ‘who cares’ when he was asked by reporters whether his actions looked bad.
‘It’s a question of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you guys think,’ he said.
He also berated photographers for not following social distancing rules by staying two metres apart.
Meanwhile, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner said Mr Cummings had made policing the lockdown ‘much harder’.
In a statement, former Labour MP David Jamieson said: ‘The police’s job of enforcing the lockdown has been made much harder after both the actions of Dominic Cummings travelling over 260 miles and the flexibility with which the Government now seem to interpret the guidance.
‘People will now say there is one rule for them and one rule for the Prime Minister’s political advisers.
‘Across the country, millions of people are making sacrifices, including scores of police officers and staff who have separated from their families to protect their health and the health of the nation.
‘It seems beyond belief that to justify the breach of guidance they appear to now be questioning the honesty and credibility of Durham Police.
‘The Prime Minster, Boris Johnson, should sack Dominic Cummings forthwith, to restore public confidence and some credibility to his handling of this dreadful Covid-19 crisis.’
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