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Homeland Security

Top British Aide to PM Defends Coronavirus Personal Travel

By VOA News May 25, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's closest aide has defied calls to step down, following accusations he broke coronavirus lockdown rules.

Dominic Cummings gave a rare public statement Monday doubling down on his claims that he acted reasonably and did not violate any policies.

Cummings has faced criticism for driving 400 kilometers from his London home to his parents' house in Durham, northeast England, with his wife, who had symptoms of the virus, and their son. At the time, a strict stay-at-home order had been in place.

Cummings said he was worried that if he and his wife fell ill, there would be no one to take care of their child.

"I did what I thought was the right thing to do," Cummings told reporters after reading a statement. "I think... I behaved reasonably."

Johnson defended Cummings on Sunday, saying his aide acted "responsibly, legally and with integrity."

Britain has been the hardest hit European country by the coronavirus with nearly 270,000 cases and 36,875 deaths currently.

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