JK Rowling condemns Dominic Cummings’ lockdown-breaking trip to Durham: ‘Indefensible hypocrisy and selfishness’

Roisin O'Connor
JK Rowling on 11 December 2019 in New York City: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

JK Rowling has waded into the scandal over Dominic Cummings, following reports that he made multiple trips between London and Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.

Number 10 faces increasing pressure to sack prime minister Boris Johnson’s special adviser, who insists his actions were “reasonable and legal”.

This is despite Cummings making the reported trips while the government enforced strict travel measures around the UK in order to quell the spread of coronavirus.

He was spotted at his parents’ house in County Durham at the beginning of April, before lockdown restrictions were slightly eased.

A statement from 10 Downing Street said that Cummings had driven to his parents’ house to ensure his child could be taken care of, since his wife was suffering from coronavirus symptoms and he feared he would also contract it.

Rowling responded to a tweet by Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, who argued: “Taking care of your wife and young child is justifiable and reasonable, trying to score political points over it isn’t.”

“People have missed funerals of loved ones because of lockdown,” the Harry Potter author pointed out.

“Many have had to look after their own young children while ill. One of the architects of the rules keeping those people housebound drove across the UK, knowing he had the virus. Indefensible hypocrisy and selfishness.”

MP Oliver Dowden also defended Mr Cummings, writing: “Dom Cummings followed the guidelines and looked after his family. End of story.”

Rowling quote-tweeted his message and said: “I know ending stories and this ain’t it, chief.”

The full statement from Downing Street reads: "Owing to his wife being infected with suspected Coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.

"His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to but separate from his extended family in case their help was needed. His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside.”

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