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Homeland Security

UK's Johnson Won't Fire Adviser Over Lockdown Violations

By VOA News May 24, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is defending one of his top advisers who has come under scrutiny for violating travel lockdowns.

Johnson said he would not fire adviser Dominic Cummings, who drove 400 kilometers to his parents' house from London while he and his wife were sick with the novel coronavirus.

Opposition politicians have called for Cummings' resignation or dismissal as he violated clear restrictions on any trips outside of one's primary residence, other than for essential business.

British regulations also demand that anyone showing signs of COVID-19 self-isolate.

But Cummings said that he had to travel when he realized he and his wife were becoming sick in order to ensure that his four-year-old son would be looked after.

In a press conference Sunday, Johnson defended Cummings' actions, saying he acted "responsibly, legally and with integrity" and "followed the instincts of every father and every parent."

But even some members of Johnson's own conservative party have said Cummings should be dismissed.

"Dominic Cummings has a track record of believing that the rules don't apply to him and treating the scrutiny that should come to anyone in a position of authority with contempt. The government would be better without him," MP Damian Collins wrote on Twitter.

Britain has recorded the second-highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world, with over 36,000 deaths from the virus.

Johnson was the first world leader to test positive for the disease but returned to work after weeks of recovery.

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