Boris Johnson draws fire from Daily Mail and Guardian over Dominic Cummings
The Guardian and the Daily Mirror reported Friday that when Cummings’ wife was ill with coronavirus in late March they drove more than 250 miles so that they could isolate themselves in a second home closer to family. Cummings said they made the trip so they could have help caring for their child, in case they both fell ill.
Just a day later, the same papers reported new allegations that Cummings had been seen away from London on two further occasions after his initial trip. Downing Street has rebutted the subsequent claims, saying in a statement that it would not waste its time “answering a stream of false allegations about Mr. Cummings from campaigning newspapers.”
At the time, government advice was for people to stay in isolation at their primary residency, particularly if they were ill.
Johnson and Cummings have been defiant. In a Sunday evening press conference, Johnson said he believed Cummings acted as any father would, “responsibly, legally and with integrity.”
The Guardian splashed on its front page on Monday that there was “no apology, no explanation.”
“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? It emerges the rules are optional for the prime minister’s friends,” said the lead editorial, teased on the front page next to a photo of a smiling Cummings in front of Johnson’s office at Number 10, Downing Street.
The Daily Mail went even further, asking in giant lettering on the front page “What planet are they on?” atop a blistering editorial.
“Neither man has displayed a scintilla of contrition for this breach of trust. Do they think we are fools?,” the editorial states. “For the good of the Government and the nation, Mr. Cummings must resign. Or the Prime Minister must sack him. No ifs, no buts.”
The latest controversy comes as the government continues to urge the public to adhere to lockdown measures to stop the spread of the virus, a message and effort that has now been muddled, critics say.
— Rob Picheta contributed to this report.