This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

Over 300 GPs urge police to investigate Dominic Cummings

A GP pressure group has written to the chief constable of Durham police urging investigation into Dominic Cummings' potential coronavirus lockdown breach.

A letter signed by 300 GP members of the group said its 'committee and members are writing to you this open letter as general practitioners to formally request investigation of Mr Dominic Cummings, special advisor to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to determine if he has committed an offence under Section 15 of the 2020 Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations'.

It also raises questions about whether Mr Cummings broke the law in driving his child 60 miles to 'test his eyesight'.

It comes after Mr Cummings made a press statement about the controversy from the garden of 10 Downing Street last night, during which he said he did not regret his decision to travel 260 miles from London to his parents' home in Durham when his wife and himself began displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

A joint investigation by the Mirror and the Guardian,  published on 22 May, had said police had investigated Mr Cummings for breaking lockdown rules on which he himself had acted as a senior adviser. More allegations emerged over the weekend, with the revelation that Mr Cummings also drove to a local beauty spot while the family was in Durham.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and members of his cabinet including health secretary Matt Hancock, have defended Mr Cummings, with Mr Johnson declaring on Sunday that his adviser had acted legally and with integrity.

But, in a letter to chief constable Jo Farrell, GP Survival asked Durham police to investigate:

  • 'If the initial journey he and his family made on or around 28th March 2020 to stay at his parents’ property in Durham was an offence.'
  • 'When Mr Cummings travelled while staying at this property to Barnard Castle on or around 12th April 2020, if this was an offence; we are also concerned he chose to drive a motor vehicle to "test his eyesight" while carrying a child passenger for 60 miles and the risk this posed to other members of the public.'
  • 'If there is any other evidence of Mr Cummings leaving the Durham property during this period in contravention of the regulations.'
  • 'If there is evidence that after returning to London in mid-April 2020, Mr Cummings has made further return journeys to Durham or its surroundings and if this was an offence.'

The letter added: ‘GPs have been amongst the many front-line NHS workers in helping to contain and manage the Covid-19 pandemic, and have advised many patients and their families over this period of the need to remain locked down at home, not to travel from home unless an emergency, to self-isolate for up to 14 days if symptomatic, and to remain at their primary residence.

‘We are concerned that these allegations against Mr Cummings, unless resolved, will serve to undermine the public health interventions required to prevent further unnecessary deaths.

‘We feel that due to the potential risk of these unresolved allegations undermining public confidence in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is in the public interest to examine, using what evidence is available to you including ANPR CCTV and other methods to resolve this issue and be able to provide a clear statement to the public if offences had been committed.’

The news comes as this morning, a Cabinet minister resigned in protest at the handling of the situation. Under secretary of state for Scotland Douglas Ross said he could not defend the Government's position to to his constituents.

In a backbench rebellion, another 20 Conservative MPs have also expressed their views that Mr Cummings should be sacked, while Labour leader Keir Starmer said Mr Johnson was 'treating the British public with contempt' in deciding to continue to back his aide. 

Similarly, YouGov polls conducted over the weekend conclude that the majority of the public both feel Cummings’ actions were wrong, and that he should resign.

But he stated in yesterday’s live conference - the first time an unelected adviser has delivered one - that he had not considered resigning, and instead referenced ‘exceptional circumstances’ concerning the care of his child.

Previously, Scottish chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood, and SAGE scientist Professor Neil Ferguson resigned from their roles after being found to have breached the lockdown rules.

Readers' comments (57)

  • Here's the obvious question, Shaba...

    Why didn't you consider alternative childcare for your kids when you suspected/had covid?

    Did you check the wording of the guidance then?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Reply to Nicholas Grundy
    My experience before I left GPS was that the vocal ideologically driven minority often suggested you leave the group when their views were challenged. It didn’t progress to “we’ll throw you off” but the sentiments were clear. They wanted rid of you.
    It seemed they wanted to be part of an echo chamber of their own beliefs and analysis

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • He broke the law. He should be arrested and fined.He should resign because knowingly breaking the law is not compatible with being a government advisor. (there are rules about this).
    Never mind his contempt for his family's lives. Knowinlgly infecting a person with HIV is an offence, knowlingly infection a person with Covid19 should be as well.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @Shaba Nabi

    I respect your column.

    But it feels like that the “GP Survival” group have gone off half cocked, and entered a political area that would definitely not help our collective “GP Survival”.

    We need all the friends we can get....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I absolutely 100% agree with all the Tory shills posting on here that Dominic Cummings has been unfairly treated by flouting all the rules, as is clearly his birthright.
    After all Tories are highly intelligent and forgiving people who would not clamour for sackings, if smaller and lesser people transgressed the rules made in order to protect people from a deadly virus. Take for example their open minded approach to Dr Catherine Calderwood and Neil Ferguson.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • National Hopeless Service

    2.46 PM
    I was attempting to write exactly what you have written.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What on earth has this got to do with anyone interested in GP survival.

    We have enough right on organisations virtue signalling (BMA RCGP), nobody looking after GPs actual survival

    I had innocently thought that an organisation called GP survival might be interested in GPs and their survival.
    Silly me , it’s RCGP lite. Controversial non medical campaigns are the core business.

    I don’t see the need for this organisation

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @Angus Podgorny

    Neil Ferguson gave us those White Elephant Nightingales.

    Thanks to that “computer modelling” Primary Care became worse off than it already was....

    Now we have Care Home responsibility for free, and no Bank Holidays to show for it...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • methinks DC doth protest too much...........

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @Anon GP
    What has the advice he gave the Government- which the Government decided to use- got to do with the issues forcing resignation?
    What you are giving me there is I believe valid in another argument- and I would agree with you about what you say- but is invalid in the context of this one.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say