Dominic Cummings: Public overwhelmingly think Boris Johnson’s aide broke lockdown rules, poll finds

Voters of all parties unconvinced by aide’s TV appearance

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Tuesday 26 May 2020 14:04 BST
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The most puzzling moments from the Dominic Cummings press conference

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The British public overwhelmingly believe Dominic Cummings broke coronavirus lockdown rules and should resign, a new poll has found.

The latest survey by YouGov released on Tuesday found 71 per cent think Boris Johnson’s top aide disregarded government regulations when he travelled more than 200 miles from London to his parents’ estate in Durham.

Absolute majorities of Lib Dem, Labour and Tory voters believe the rules were broken, with just 20 per cent of the public believing Mr Cummings’s actions were within the regulations and the rest saying they didn’t know.

Fifty-nine per cent of the public also believe that the top aide should quit, up by 7 per cent from a comparable poll conducted on Saturday. Twenty-seven per cent of people say he should not resign, with the rest saying they don’t know.

Mr Cummings took the unusual step of hosting a question and answer session with the media on Monday in a bid to justify his actions, with 3.7 million people watching the grilling on BBC One alone despite the sunny bank holiday weekend.

Tory voters specifically were evenly split on whether the former Vote Leave chief should step down, with 46 per cent saying he should, 46 per cent saying he should not and the rest undecided.

Majorities of both Leave voters and Remain voters think he both broke the rules and should quit.

Mr Cummings said that on 28 March he woke up “in pain and clearly had Covid symptoms, including a bad headache and a serious fever”.

Durham Police confirmed that as of 31 March they were “made aware of reports that an individual had travelled from London to Durham and was present at an address in the city”. The force also confirmed that they had spoken to Mr Cummings’s father.

On 12 April, Mr Cummings and his family were seen walking by the River Tees in Barnard Castle, 30 miles from Durham. That date is also the birthday of Mr Cummings’s wife. The government adviser has claimed this trip with his family in the car was to test his eyesight and whether he was well enough to drive back to London.

The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, with all interviews for it taking place after Mr Cummings’s televised statement ended.

Downing Street has refused to take further questions about Mr Cummings’s actions. The government has been hit by one ministerial resignation so far, with around two dozen Tory MPs calling on the aide to quit so far.

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