London, Johnson’s adviser in trouble: violated the quarantine


LONDON. Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s “rasputin” as was Steve Bannon for Trump, made a big mistake. That could also cost him his resignation. Why Cummings violated the “lockdown” rules decided by Johnson himself on March 23 against the coronavirus, leaving his home in North London and traveling over 300 kilometers to Durham, in the English Midlands, where he went to find his parents.

Not only. Cummings, who would travel in violation of the law between 30 and 31 March, was even having coronavirus symptoms at that time and was supposed to be in solitary confinement at home in the capital. Instead, the British prime minister’s chief adviser did not respect the rules and set off on a trip. Remaining in solitary confinement, at least so he says, in his parents’ house in Durham, as the police found, which opened an investigation after the report of a local citizen who noticed Cummings in the city at 5 pm on March 31st. In those days, to the questions of us parliamentary journalists in Westminster, Johnson’s spokesman vaguely replied that “Dominic is not in Westminster, but works remotely”. And he had never confirmed his presence in his London home.

Now Cummings is in trouble. For two reasons. The first: prof. Neil Ferguson of Imperial College two weeks ago had to resign from the government’s scientific committee after the Daily Telegraph disclosed that the luminary – who imposed the lockdown on Johnson, Macron and Trump with his Covid-19 studies – during the curfew had met his lover Antonia Staats several times. Now Cummings finds himself in the same, very uncomfortable situation.

The second: the news of the illegal escape of Cummings comes precisely on the day when the Minister of the Interior Priti Patel announced new hard rules for anyone entering or returning to the United Kingdom and on the long weekend (Monday here is a national holiday) in which the Johnson government urged the British to comply with social distancing and other rules when they travel to the beach and park (now allowed in “phase 2”). It is clear that Cummings’ behavior, which however would be illegal even today with today’s milder rules on the lockdown in force for a few days, is a matter of deep embarrassment for Johnson.

So the prime minister will “trash” his brilliant advisor, the most trusted, since the time of the Brexit referendum? Cummings let us journalists know, through “a friend”: “This story does not bother me at all. I will never resign. “

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Mario Calabresi
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