Dominic Cummings addressed the nation on Monday evening to suggest the reason he took a 40-mile trip to Barnard Castle – with his wife and four-year-old son in the car – was to test his eyesight and see if he was well enough to drive from Durham to London.
It all started when Cummings made the decision to drive his wife and son from their home in London to his parents’ home in Durham. This was because his wife was ill with coronavirus-like symptoms and he claimed he was concerned about potentially not being able to care for his child if both parents got seriously ill.
While in Durham, Cummings started to feel better and – at the alleged advice of a medical expert – was cleared to go back to work.
But he wasn’t sure if he was completely well enough to make the drive back to London, so he made the half an hour drive to popular tourist destination Barnard Castle... to test his eyesight… on his wife’s birthday… and with his son in the car.
Needless to say, a lot of people have had trouble believing this justification.
And others have suggested that, even if true, it's a very silly thing to do.
On Good Morning Britain, Dr Mark Porter slammed Cummings’ decision and said:
The last thing you should do if you've got dodgy vision is jump in a car with your family and go and test it on the road on a 40-60 mile round trip.
Former Tony Blair advisor, Alastair Campbell, went even further and called the Cummings press conference a “shambles” and an “act of utter hypocrisy”:
Police officer John Apter advised against testing your eyesight by going for a drive:
While surgeon Karim Brohi said:
Journalist Kay Burley took Michael Gove to task over the eyesight incident:
While Londoner editor at The Evening Standard, Ayesha Hazarika, said driving to a castle to test your eyesight “doesn’t make any sense”:
Green MP Caroline Lucas believed the move was “wrong”:
And people on social media were equally scathing about the Barnard Castle trip:
Then the hilarious memes started rolling in:
Dominic Cummings has faced increasing pressure to resign over the incident, with many calling his actions “against the spirit” of the lockdown rules.
But he believes he hasn’t broken any laws and declined to offer an apology.