The controversy surrounding Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings’ movements during the lockdown period continues to gather steam.
After it emerged that Cummings had travelled 265 miles to Durham when British people were being urged to “stay home”, Downing Street pushed back and said that his actions were “within guidelines”. As backlash grew, Tory MPs put out messages of support and childcare concerns were cited as the primary reason behind Cummings’ trip.
It’s fair to say that the reasons given for the trip aren’t exactly convincing people who’ve been staying home for weeks and missing hugely important life events.
Serious questions remain over the controversy.
Who knew about this trip (or possible trips, as is now being alleged) to Durham?
Did Boris Johnson know? If so, when? And why didn’t he tell us?
These are just some of the questions people would love to ask the prime minister.
… So where is he?
Johnson was branded a “coward” and accused of “running scared” by sending transport secretary Grant Shapps to do the first daily press briefing since the controversy erupted.
Shapps also reappeared on The Andrew Marr Show the following morning and Johnson was absent from all of Sunday morning's politics shows. The only thing we've heard is that Cummings has the PM's full support, though he relayed this message through Shapps and Downing Street statements.
Given you’d think the PM would want to put the record straight, people weren’t happy at his apparent silence.
Soon, ‘where’s Boris?’ began to trend yet again.
This isn’t the first time Johnson has been accused of dodging scrutiny. He infamously avoided being interviewed by Andrew Neil during the 2019 election campaign and even hid in a fridge at one point to avoid questions from another journalist. During the crisis he has frequently been accused of being missing in action when he claimed to be well enough to work.
A YouGov poll found that 52 per cent of people think Cummings should resign, including 40 per cent of Tories. Labour and the SNP are also calling for an urgent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 265-mile trip.