Ex-PM says Dominic Cummings' trip to Barnard Castle during Covid lockdown was a 'bad moment'

Boris Johnson discussed the incident at his second day appearance at the Covid inquiry. Credit: ITV / PA

Boris Johnson has said that Dominic Cummings' trip to Barnard Castle in 2020 was a "bad moment" during the Covid-19 inquiry.

During his second appearance at the Covid Inquiry, the former prime minister was questioned over the controversial incident that happened in March 2020.

The former chief advisor to Boris Johnson travelled from London to stay with family in Durham when his wife contracted coronavirus.

He then infamously drove to Barnard Castle after she recovered to "test his eyesight" for the drive back to the capital.

Mr Cummings has claimed that Mr Johnson knew about him moving his family from London during the weekend in March.

Mr Johnson had called him a "liar" as he was not aware of the trip, according to WhatsApp messages sent from Mr Johnson to another official.

  • Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared before the Covid-19 Inquiry to defend his government's decision-making during the pandemic

The inquiry heard that after the incident, public opinion over the Government's competence of handling the health crisis had dropped.

"It was a bad moment, I won't pretend otherwise.

"But what I think actually happened thereafter was fascinating... Whatever the rights or wrongs of the position that I took on that episode, people continued to want us to get on with the job of fixing the pandemic.

"On the confidence factor, they continued to be more than willing to work together to defeat the virus, and that's what they did," Mr Johnson said.

Boris Johnson had also defended the culture in Downing Street, saying the idea of mass rule-breaking was a "million miles" from the truth.

He said: “I really want to emphasise, and you talk about the impression, the version of events that has entered the popular consciousness about what is supposed to have happened in Downing Street is a million miles from the reality of what actually happened in Number 10.”

He added that he was speaking on behalf of “hundreds and hundreds of hard working civil servants who thought that they were following the rules."

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