Couple who say they saw Dominic Cummings on lockdown trip complain to watchdog

Dominic Cummings Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

A couple who claim to have seen Downing Street aide Dominic Cummings on a second lockdown trip to Durham have filed an official complaint to the police watchdog, according to reports.

Dave and Clare Edwards told the Daily Mirror that they informed police in May that they had seen Boris Johnson’s chief adviser while walking in Houghall Woods near Durham on April 19, the weekend after he had returned to work in London.

Mr Cummings has denied making this second trip, insisting photos and data on his phone disprove the allegations.

Durham Constabulary ultimately said they would not take “retrospective action” despite finding that the Prime Minister’s aide may have made a “minor breach” of lockdown laws by making a trip to the North East with his family earlier in April.

Dominic Cummings made a trip Barnard Castle in County Durham on Easter Sunday Credit: Tom Wilkinson/PA

This included a visit to Barnard Castle on Easter Sunday which he said he used to assess his fitness to drive back to London the next day, following his recovery from illness.

However, Mr and Mrs Edwards have since put in a subject access request in order to determine exactly how their complaint was followed up.

A spokeswoman for the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) told the PA news agency: “In accordance with the police complaints procedure, we have forwarded a complaint to Durham Constabulary.

“It will now be a matter for the force to determine the next steps, including whether this complaint merits referral to the IOPC.”

A Durham Constabulary spokesman said: “As outlined in our statement of May 28, Durham Constabulary carried out an investigation into this matter, led by a senior detective, and found insufficient evidence to support the allegation.”

The new allegation follows publication of research which said Mr Cummings’ trip to Durham while suffering from coronavirus drastically undermined public trust in the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

The analysis, published in The Lancet and carried out by University College London (UCL), found that his actions reduced people’s willingness to follow social distancing rules.