British police have determined that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings may have violated coronavirus lockdown procedures, but he will not face charges.
Cummings, 48, allegedly violated health and safety rules when he drove 400 kilometers from London to his parent’s estate in northern England with his wife and child after falling ill and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Upon arrival, he drove an additional 26 miles to a different estate.
Durham police concluded that while Cummings’ initial drive did not breach regulations, the 26-mile trip to Barnard Castle “would have warranted police intervention,” Reuters reports.
Because Cummings maintained social distancing, the police view the incident as “minor.”
Prime Minister Johnson and other government officials repeatedly have backed Cummings, insisting his case has been misrepresented in the press. Cummings has thus far refused to apologize, saying he acted within the bounds of the law.
Despite Johnson’s public support, the BBC reported that 40 Tory MPs have called on Cummings to resign.
Opposition Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said in statement that failing to prosecute Cummings, even for a minor offense, undermines public compliance in health and safety regulations.
“But more importantly, what I'm worried about is that people might think, ‘well, if Cummings doesn't have to abide by the rules, why do I have to?’" Starmer said.