Dominic Cummings has criticised the establishment media for making false reports about his lockdown while suffering from coronavirus, claims which he said resulted in threats of violence against him and his family.
Mr Cummings had rejected media claims that he had driven from London to Durham simply to stay with his parents, rather that he had stayed at an isolated cottage on his father’s farm, “worried if my wife and I were ill, there was no one in London that we could reasonably ask to look after my child”.
He said had arranged for two nieces aged 17 and 20, whom he said were old enough to look after a child but young enough to be out of the danger zone, to be on standby if both he and his wife Mary were incapacitated by Chinese coronavirus. He added that he did not interact with people while ill, did not visit or stay with his parents, and food was brought to his family by relatives and left outside of the property.
The activist media has been giving wall-to-wall reporting of claims that Mr Cummings had repeatedly broken the lockdown laws, echoing calls for the prime minister’s trusted adviser — a Vote Leave alumnus who seeks to drain the Westminster swamp and purge the Remain-backing Civil Service (at times referred to as the British “Deep State”) — to be fired.
Mr Cummings told reporters in the gardens of Downing Street on Monday evening: “I think there is understandable [public] anger, but a lot of that anger is based on reports in the media that have not been true. It’s extremely regrettable, but the media that were reporting some of these things that were wrong were told they were wrong, but they reported them anyway.
“And that has caused a lot of anger. I know. People have shouted at me in the street: ‘Why did you go back? Why did you go back to see your parents just because you wanted to?’ But I did not do that.”
He added that due to the intense scrutiny by the media, “I was subjected to threats of violence. People came to my house shouting threats. There were posts on social media encouraging attacks.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 24, 2020
“Stories that I returned to Durham on April 13th are false and that I returned on April 19th. Data on my phone, such as texts and pictures, can prove this,” he added.
“I don’t regret what I did. I think reasonable people may well disagree about how I thought about what to do in the circumstances, but I think what I did was actually reasonable in these circumstances. The rules made clear that if you are dealing with small children, that can be exceptional circumstances.
“And I think that the situation that I was in was exceptional circumstances and the way that I dealt with it was the least risk to everybody concerned if my wife and I had both been unable to look after our four-year-old,” he rationalised.
“I would stress to people that they should not believe everything they read in the newspapers and everything they see on TV. Because lots of things that are reported are not, in fact, the case,” he urged the British public.
Breitbart London reported on Sunday that while he and the prime minister were “laid out on their sickbeds” with coronavirus, they were working to squash a plan by Remainers to extend the transition period, delaying a clean-break from the EU.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 19, 2019