Cummings took family to Durham during lockdown after 'security threat'

‘I wish I’d never heard of Barnard Castle and I wish I’d never gone’: Dominic Cummings claims infamous lockdown-breaking 260-mile trip to Durham from London while ill with Covid last year came after ‘threats’ to his family

Dominic Cummings made a highly controversial trip from London to Durham during the first lockdown because of threats made against his family, he claimed today. 

The former senior advisor said that he took his wife Mary and their young son north to his family in March last year after concerns about their security at their home in the capital.

He said that people had gathered outside the family home in a residential street and threatened to break in. 

Addressing MPs today he said he had the Prime Minister’s approval to make the trip and admitted he had not told the full truth when he had explained himself at a Downing Street press conference. 

He said it had been a ‘terrible mistake’ not to be more honest at the time, as he faced a grilling from MPs on the Commons’ health and science committees. 

Health committee chairman Jeremy Hunt asked if he had been tellign the truth at a Downing Street press conference last spring where he claimed he took his family on a 30-mile journey he took to the town of Barnard Castle to ‘test his eyesight’ before returning to London.

‘If I were going to come up with a story I’d have come up with a hell of a better one than that…it didn’t seem crazy at the time,’ Mr Cummings said.

‘I can completely understand why people think it’s weird. I wish I’d never heard of Barnard Castle. Wish I’d never gone.’ 

The former senior advisor said that he took his wife Mary and their young son north to his family in March last year after concerns about their security at their home in the capital.

Mr Cummings also drove 30 miles to the popular tourist spot Barnard Castle to test his eye sight, risking passing the infection to others at a time where Mr Johnson was telling 66million Britons not to leave home unless it was absolutely essential.

The Prime Minister refused to sack his then Svengali despite his controversial 260-mile trip to Durham during lockdown that caused irreparable damage to the public’s trust in Government. 

Mr Cummings also drove 30 miles to the popular tourist spot Barnard Castle to test his eye sight, risking passing the infection to others at a time where Mr Johnson was telling 66million Britons not to leave home unless it was absolutely essential.

But Mr Johnson stood by him, despite widespread calls for Mr Cummings to be fired and prosecuted. The decision saw the Prime Minister’s popularity with the public plummet, especially after his aide’s press conference in the Downing Street garden where he denied he had done anything wrong.

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