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Dominic Cummings: More than 900,000 people sign petition demanding PM’s top aide is sacked

More than half the British public think he should quit, poll shows

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 28 May 2020 11:04 BST
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The four times Boris Johnson refused to say whether parents should stay at home or ‘do as Dominic Cummings did’

Over 900,000 people have signed a petition calling for the prime minister’s chief advisor to be sacked amid backlash over journeys he made during lockdown.

Hundreds of thousands have added their names days after it emerged Dominic Cummings had travelled from London to Durham in April to be close to potential childcare and then to nearby town Barnard Castle.

The number of people who had signed the petition on Change.org – called ‘”Dominic Cummings must be sacked” – stood at around 908,726 on Thursday morning.

The prime minister has backed his top aide during the controversy, saying on Wednesday it was time to “move on” from allegations the senior advisor broke rules of the lockdown over coronavirus.

Most of the British public think Mr Cummings should quit, according to a poll conducted earlier this week after the aide’s televised speech explaining his movements.

Seventy-one per cent of people in the YouGov survey thought the PM’s chief advisor had ignored government regulations when he drove more than 200 miles to his parents’ estate in Durham at the height of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, 59 per cent of those polled thought Mr Cummings should quit his post.

Scores of Conservative MPs have called for the PM’s chief advisor to be sacked or to resign.

In a press conference on Monday, the government aide defended travelling from London to Durham with his family in April, saying he believed he behaved “reasonably”.

He said they drove north to be near family who had offered childcare in case him and his wife became too ill to look after their four-year-old son.

Mr Cummings said he subsequently took a trip to Barnard Castle to see if he was fit enough to drive before returning to the capital.

The prime minister refused to launch an inquiry into his advisor’s actions on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson came under intense questioning in an appearance before the Commons Liaison Committee of senior MPs, he said he was “deeply sorry for all the hurt and pain and anxiety that people have been going through throughout this period”, but repeatedly insisted it was now time to “move on”.

“Quite frankly I’m not certain – right now – that an inquiry into that matter is a very good use of official time,” the PM said. “We are working flat out on coronavirus.”

Downing Street has been approached for comment.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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