UK announces preliminary daily Covid-19 death toll of 412

Britain today announced 412 more Covid-19 deaths, taking the official number of victims to 37,460 – as NHS data showed more than half of trusts haven’t recorded a fatality in the last 48 hours.  

Department of Health figures show the daily number of fatalities is 13.5 per cent higher than the figure announced last Wednesday (363) – and is three times higher than yesterday’s (134). 

Officials warned the figure yesterday was much lower than usual because of a recording delay over the weekend and bank holiday, which could be behind the spike in deaths recorded today. 

Scientists who analysed the statistics revealed 12 NHS hospital trusts in England (9.2 per cent) have recorded no coronavirus deaths in the past week, as well as 78 (59.5 per cent) who have registered none in the past 48 hours. 

In other developments to the coronavirus crisis in Britain today:

  • Two households could be allowed to meet up from next week under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans for easing lockdown, it was revealed;
  • McDonald’s announced nearly 1,000 more restaurants will reopen for drive-thrus or deliveries from next week – with a £25 cap on orders;
  • British health officials have told companies offering Covid-19 antibody tests to stop processing finger-prick blood samples from patients in the UK;
  • Forty per cent of staff at a hospital in Weston-super-Mare closed to new admissions because of a spike in Covid-19 patients have symptoms of the infection.

REVEALED: THE 78 NHS TRUSTS THAT HAVE RECORDED NO COVID-19 DEATHS IN THE LAST 48 HOURS

  • AIREDALE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • ALDER HEY CHILDREN’S NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • ASHFORD AND ST PETER’S HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • BARKING, HAVERING AND REDBRIDGE UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • BASILDON AND THURROCK UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • BRIGHTON AND SUSSEX UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • BUCKINGHAMSHIRE HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • CHELSEA AND WESTMINSTER HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • COUNTY DURHAM AND DARLINGTON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • DARTFORD AND GRAVESHAM NHS TRUST
  • DONCASTER AND BASSETLAW TEACHING HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • EAST AND NORTH HERTFORDSHIRE NHS TRUST
  • EAST CHESHIRE NHS TRUST
  • EAST SUSSEX HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST
  • EPSOM AND ST HELIER UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • GATESHEAD HEALTH NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • GEORGE ELIOT HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
  • GLOUCESTERSHIRE HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • GUY’S AND ST THOMAS’ NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • HAMPSHIRE HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • HOMERTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • HULL UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • KETTERING GENERAL HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • KING’S COLLEGE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • LEEDS TEACHING HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • LONDON NORTH WEST UNIVERSITY HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST
  • LUTON AND DUNSTABLE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • MAIDSTONE AND TUNBRIDGE WELLS NHS TRUST
  • MEDWAY NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • MID CHESHIRE HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • MID ESSEX HOSPITAL SERVICES NHS TRUST
  • MILTON KEYNES UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • NORFOLK AND SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • NORTH BRISTOL NHS TRUST
  • NORTH CUMBRIA INTEGRATED CARE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • NORTH MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
  • NORTHERN DEVON HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST
  • NORTHUMBRIA HEALTHCARE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • OXFORD UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • POOLE HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • PORTSMOUTH HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • ROYAL BERKSHIRE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • ROYAL CORNWALL HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • ROYAL DEVON AND EXETER NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • ROYAL FREE LONDON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • ROYAL SURREY COUNTY HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • ROYAL UNITED HOSPITALS BATH NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • SALFORD ROYAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • SHERWOOD FOREST HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • SOUTH TEES HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • SOUTH WARWICKSHIRE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • SOUTHPORT AND ORMSKIRK HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
  • ST GEORGE’S UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • SURREY AND SUSSEX HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST
  • TAUNTON AND SOMERSET NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • THE HILLINGDON HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • THE NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • THE PRINCESS ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL NHS TRUST
  • THE QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL, KING’S LYNN, NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • THE ROYAL BOURNEMOUTH AND CHRISTCHURCH HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • TORBAY AND SOUTH DEVON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • UNITED LINCOLNSHIRE HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL SOUTHAMPTON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS OF DERBY AND BURTON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS OF LEICESTER NHS TRUST
  • UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS PLYMOUTH NHS TRUST
  • WALSALL HEALTHCARE NHS TRUST
  • WARRINGTON AND HALTON TEACHING HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • WEST HERTFORDSHIRE HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • WESTERN SUSSEX HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • WESTON AREA HEALTH NHS TRUST
  • WHITTINGTON HEALTH NHS TRUST
  • WIRRAL UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • WORCESTERSHIRE ACUTE HOSPITALS NHS TRUST
  • WYE VALLEY NHS TRUST
  • YEOVIL DISTRICT HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
  • YORK TEACHING HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Jason Oke, from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, said: ‘Today, for the first time over half of acute NHS Trusts reported no deaths in the last 48 hours.’

And they added that 12 trusts had registered no Covid-19 deaths in the past week.

These included Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Weston Area Health NHS Trust.  

NHS England today recorded 183 Covid-19 fatalities in hospitals, while Scotland registered 13 deaths, Wales 11 and Northern Ireland two from all locations, including care homes.

Two households could be allowed to meet up from next week, under Boris Johnson’s plans for easing lockdown – but ministers are said to have parked proposals for people to be able to mix freely in social ‘bubbles’.

Current lockdown rules dictate that you can meet up with one other person from outside your household outdoors as long as you remain two metres apart.

The new plan would allow two households to link up although it is unclear whether everyone in each household would be allowed to attend. This would potentially allow people to see their parents at the same time, for example, something which the existing restrictions prohibit. 

It could see people given the green light to invite their partnered household to visit them in a private garden. 

However, when plan was discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet on Monday this week, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reportedly expressed concerns that the two households plan could become seen as a ‘barbecue clause’.    

Social bubbles of up to ten people was first laid out in the government’s 50-page roadmap out of lockdown, published on 11 May, and gave hope that people could once again see extended family or friends all together. 

The ‘bubble’ plan was originally due to be included in the first wave of lockdown easing announced by the PM but it was held back after scientists said the potential impact needed to be better understood. 

New expert modelling produced by the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is believed to have shown that allowing households to merge in a bubble could lead to a fresh outbreak and is not possible at the moment. 

Ministers are now pursuing a more targeted approach which they hope will help people who have been left isolated during the crisis. 

The scheme, which could be rolled out from June 1 at the start of Mr Johnson‘s second phase of easing, could force households to nominate the friends or family they want to be allowed to see. 

A potential requirement for households to nominate the other household they want to be linked to could cause major headaches because it could force parents to choose which of their adult children they meet up with.

It is also unclear how such a scheme could work in house share situations where people may have different groups of friends.

Nicola Sturgeon has already said that in Scotland two households are set to be allowed to mix in ‘small numbers, including in gardens’ with social distancing in force.

There is likely to be new guidance issued setting out how guests should walk through the house if that is the only route to the garden, too.

Coronavirus is believed to spread more easily indoors than outdoors and there are concerns that the garden provision could be abused, with people ending up moving inside during a gathering.

The PM’s spokesman said ‘work is ongoing’ on plans to increase socialising, and that ministers recognised that ‘sacrifices’ were being made.

‘We are of course aware that not everybody has access to a garden,’ they added.

Meanwhile experts have warned that the Government’s contact tracing operation must be in place before any further easing of lockdown measures takes place.

It is now thought the initiative will go live tomorrow, allowing the PM to go ahead with lockdown changes like the phased reopening of primary schools and non-essential shops.

The contact tracing scheme will see people who have come into contact with someone for more than 15 minutes who has subsequently tested positive for the disease being tracked down and told to self-isolate for 14 days.

It is hoped this would then stop a second wave by breaking the chain of transmission early.

Starting tomorrow, everyone who displays coronavirus symptoms will be asked to report themselves to ‘test and trace’ officials either online or through a new helpline. 

Their job will be to find, test and isolate these people and contact anyone who they have had close interactions with. Family members, flatmates, partners and close contacts will be told to go into isolation for a fortnight even if they have no symptoms.

Anyone told to self quarantine will be entitled to statutory sick pay, or if they are self-employed they will have access to Government grants.

Ministers have already stressed that the contact tracing programme (TTI – for test, trace and isolate) will only work if people told to isolate actually do it.  

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the daily Downing Street press conference last night that people have a ‘civic duty’ to remove themselves from society if they are asked to do so by the programme. 

‘People are doing this, they are not doing it for me, people are doing this for their loved ones,’ he said. 

‘If you are phoned up and asked to self-isolate even if you are perfectly healthy because you have been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive, it is your civic duty to then self-isolate for yourself, for your community, for your family. 

‘We all need to come together to do this and that will then in turn allow us to lift some of the measures that currently are blanket measures across the whole of society and have to be blanket measures until we have the NHS test and trace system up and running and in place.’ 

It comes as a study by The Royal Society warned the Government’s contact tracing programme will only bring down infections by a mere 5 per cent.

Ministers are believed to be considering plans which would allow two households to meet up outdoors. Pictured are people enjoying the sunshine in east London on May 26

Ministers are believed to be considering plans which would allow two households to meet up outdoors. Pictured are people enjoying the sunshine in east London on May 26

Experts have warned that the Government's contact tracing operation must be in place before any further easing of lockdown measures takes place. Pictured: Customers at Portobello Road Market today

Experts have warned that the Government’s contact tracing operation must be in place before any further easing of lockdown measures takes place. Pictured: Customers at Portobello Road Market today

Weston-super-Mare, south west England on May 27

A sign displaying advice on social distancing is displayed at the beach in Weston-super-Mare, south west England

There are fears the South West is already experiencing some kind of second wave after an outbreak of coronavirus cases has forced a hospital in Weston-super-Mare (pictured, the town’s beach) to shut 

It is thought the contact tracing initiative will start from tomorrow, with details being announced later today

It is thought the contact tracing initiative will start from tomorrow, with details being announced later today 

OFFICIALS SPARK CONFUSION BY ASKING FIRMS TO STOP SELLING ANTIBODY TESTS

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has told firms offering to test blood samples people take themselves from finger-pricks to ‘temporarily stop providing this service’.

Until then, people had been able to buy mail order kits for upwards of £69 from online pharmacies to find out if they have already had the coronavirus.

The tests have been around for weeks online, including from Lloyds Pharmacy, and Superdrug even had to suspend its because of overwhelming demand.

They involve taking blood and looking for signs of past infection, which is indicated by the presence of antibodies from the immune system.

But the Government is thought to have become jittery about the prospect of people finding out they might be immune to the virus and ignoring lockdown rules.

The MHRA’s messaging has caused confusion because companies have bought the same tests approved by the Government – which will be used to test NHS and care workers from this week – but to be using them in a different way, which makes them less accurate. 

The move, which officials deny is a ban and say is merely guidance, led to critics accusing the Government of ‘making it up as they go’. One top scientist said it showed a ‘lack of foresight’.

 Dr Simon Clarke, a cellular microbiology expert at the University of Reading, told MailOnline: ‘This is really odd. At least one of the tests validated by the Government is commercially available.

‘Why they’re telling people not to use them; they don’t want people to be assuming that they’ve had the virus and are immune.

‘Them not wanting to think that way is probably right… but this should have been put to bed earlier.’

He said that taking the decision now shows ‘a lack of foresight that getting it wrong could cause problems’.

Professor Karol Sikora, a former World Health Organization cancer chief, took antibody testing into his own hands at the Rutherford Cancer Centres where he is medical director.

He told this website: ‘In Britain the testing is appalling. There seems to be no strategy and it changes by the day. They’re making it up as they go…

‘It’s another failure. We shouldn’t have got to this point in the pandemic and not had a properly worked out testing strategy both for the virus and antibodies. It should have been sorted out at the beginning.’

At least two laboratories are known to have stopped processing as a result of the ‘guidance’ from the MHRA.

MHRA officials met this morning to discuss the subject and are carrying out a review of the tests involved. It only concerns tests which rely on people taking their own blood from their finger, not ones which use professional samples of vein blood.

The issue has only just come to light because officials noticed a surging number of these home tests being offered within the last few days, MailOnline understands. 

World-leading experts from the prestigious scientific academy warned the scheme will only have a ‘modest’ effect on the UK’s crisis because testing times were still too slow and there was a good chance many Britons do not adhere to self-isolation rules. The system will only work if the overwhelming majority of Britons comply, the team said.

They modelled what effect contact tracing would have on Britain’ epidemic and found that, even if compliance is 80 per cent and the Government speeds up its testing, the number of new cases will only drop by up to 15 per cent.

The report, by the Data Evaluation and Learning for Viral Epidemics (DELVE) group, made up of 14 leading experts who give input to the Government, has been handed to SAGE scientists ahead of the rollout of the contact tracing programme tomorrow.  

In it, Royal Society academics urge ministers to focus their efforts on bringing down the average time it takes to produce a COVID-19 test result. Currently, swabs can take up to five days to be carried out, posted to a laboratory and analysed.

If this can be slashed to three days, then the TTI programme could see infections fall by as much as 15 per cent, DELVE says.

Nobel Prize laureate Venki Ramakrishnan, chair of the DELVE committee, said the UK’s scheme should by no means ‘be considered as a silver bullet’.

The professor of structural biology said TTI has the potential to ‘play an important part in bringing this pandemic under control’ but social distancing and stringent hand-washing protocol would be just as important.

Professor Anne Johnson, an epidemiologist at University College London and a member of the DELVE committee, said: ‘One of the keys to success of any potential TTI programme will be ensuring that it is carried out in an integrated way – joining up Public Health England, NHSX, primary and community care and the various other strands required to deliver a truly national effort.

‘Fast testing also allows those who are not infected, and their families, to carry on with their lives. There are many potential pitfalls for such a system and it is important that all of those are carefully considered in introducing such a complex undertaking.’

The TTI programme will be supported by the new NHSX app, which uses Bluetooth technology to alert people when they’ve been close to a COVID-19 patient.

After some technical problems and concerns about data privacy, officials say the app is now on course for a national rollout within weeks, having passed a trial on the Isle of Wight.

Other critical unanswered questions about TTI – such as how self-isolation will be enforced – will be announced at Downing Street’s press conference tonight. 

There are fears the South West is already experiencing some kind of second wave after an outbreak of coronavirus cases has forced a hospital in Weston-super-Mare to shut.

Weston General Hospital has been closed to all new admissions, including A&E patients, since Monday morning because of a spike in Covid-19 patients.

It has been claimed a memo leaked to local newspaper Somerset Live revealed 40 per cent of workers at the hospital, which has around 2,000 staff, have come down with the infection. Some of them did not show symptoms.  

The trust that runs the hospital has yet to deny the claims after being contacted by MailOnline, and admitted last night there is an ’emerging picture’ of staff with no symptoms testing positive for Covid-19.  

Silent carriers of the virus, who don’t show symptoms, can unknowingly spread the virus to other people, with scientists previously finding up to half of cases are caused by asymptomatic spread. 

The ef of different intervention strategies to preventing Covid-19 infections. S1 to S5 are increasingly stringent measures. S1 involves no restrictions on social interaction, only requiring households of symptomatic individuals to quarantine. S5 reflects the current situation

The contributions of different intervention strategies in preventing Covid-19 infections: S1 to S5 are increasingly stringent measures, with S1 involving no restrictions on social interaction, only requiring households of symptomatic individuals to quarantine. S5 reflects the current situation

The impact of varying delays in testing cases and tracing close contacts (left) on the reproduction 'R' value . The impact of varying compliance with steps in the TTI system (right)

The impact of varying delays in testing cases and tracing close contacts (left) on the reproduction ‘R’ value . The impact of varying compliance with steps in the TTI system (right)

Angry residents say 'it's not rocket science' - there has been an outbreak in Weston-super-Mare because crowds are unable to stay socially distanced at the beach. Pictured: The promenade on May 25

Angry residents say ‘it’s not rocket science’ – there has been an outbreak in Weston-super-Mare because crowds are unable to stay socially distanced at the beach. Pictured: The promenade on May 25

ALL MCDONALD’S DRIVE THRUS WILL BE OPENED NEXT WEEK 

McDonald’s has announced nearly 1,000 more restaurants will reopen for drive-thrus or deliveries from next week, under a new lockdown friendly measures with a £25 cap on orders.

Each franchise has been asked to make sure its staff are fit and able to work, following nearly two months of lockdown measures.

From next Tuesday McDonald’s will begin announcing the restaurants that have reopened. By Thursday, 975 franchises will have reopened.

Footage shows how restaurants are reopening with protective screens between staff and customers. Workers are also expected to wash their hands every 30 minutes.

Protective screens have been put in place inside the kitchens and at drive-thrus to lower the risk of contamination.

For customers, the major changes are a reduced menu and a £25 spending cap, which has been introduced as staff get used to working in smaller teams and to reduce waiting times at drive-thru lanes. Diners are also being asked to pay via contactless cards.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: ‘We can today announce that by 4th June, 1019 of our restaurants will have reopened, either for Drive Thru or McDelivery.

‘This means every Drive Thru in the UK and Ireland will reopen between Tuesday and Thursday next week and we will start to expand the availability of McDelivery too.’

The message reportedly sent to NHS staff in the South West region on Sunday, May 24, also said more than 64 patients have tested positive in the hospital, up from 30 patients at the beginning of last week. 

The cause of the outbreak has been shrouded in mystery, with locals blaming tourists crowding the beaches over the past two weeks. 

Trust medical director Dr William Oldfield said they are in the process of testing all staff in clinical areas at the hospital who may have had some patient contact.

‘There is an emerging picture of asymptomatic staff testing positive for the virus,’ he said. 

Dr Oldfield said members of staff who have tested positive have self-isolated in line with national guidance and there are ‘appropriate levels’ of personal protective equipment (PPE) available. 

Local MP, John Penrose, said the hospital was having a ‘deep clean’ after speaking to health chiefs.

He told MailOnline: ‘As I hope everyone would expect, I’ve been meeting local health chiefs to get to the bottom of this. They say the hospital isn’t full and there are enough spare beds, but they’re worried about cross-infecting non-covid patients, so they want to stop new arrivals until they’ve deep-cleaned it and checked all the staff too. 

‘They’re running tests which they hope will reveal the truth of it, so we should know more once the results come in.’ 

Mr Penrose said there was ‘no evidence to show if the outbreak is connected to visitors on the seafront’, after day-trippers were blamed for a surge in cases. 

But people who live in Weston-super-Mare said it was clear tourists who flocked to beaches after the lockdown was loosened were contributing to spread of the virus.

The beaches in Somerset and elsewhere have been packed with tourists since Prime Minister Boris Johnson allowed people in England to travel as far as they like to enjoy unlimited exercise and sunbathing. 

The South West region has so far experienced the fewest cases and deaths from COVID-19 in England. 

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston trust (UHBW), which has confirmed 118 coronavirus deaths across its two hospitals. But it is unclear how many of those happened at Weston General and its other hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI).   



Boris Johnson pleads with people to move on from Dominic Cummings row

Boris Johnson flatly dismissed calls for an official inquiry into Dominic Cummings today as he was grilled by senior MPs.

The PM said he ‘totally understood public indignation’ about the situation, but urged people to ‘move on’, insisting there had already been plenty of ‘autobiography’ from his chief aide.

Pushed on whether the Cabinet Secretary should carry out a formal investigation, Mr Johnson said it would not be a ‘good use of official time’ as everyone was working ‘flat out’ on the response to the virus. 

The comments came as Mr Johnson appeared before the Liaison Committee this afternoon, with the row over Mr Cummings’ 260-mile trip to Durham during lockdown still threatening to tear the Tories to pieces. 

The party’s poll lead has been slashed by nine points in a week – thought to be the biggest drop in a decade.  

A Cabinet minister said earlier that parents with childcare issues should ‘do as Dominic Cummings did’ and exercise ‘personal judgement’. 

The Tory civil war has been escalating again, with an MP accusing his colleagues of ‘declaring no confidence’ in the PM. 

Devizes MP Danny Kruger said ‘one wing’ of the party was ‘going bonkers’ and comparing the alleged lockdown breach to ‘the invasion of Suez’.

But in a sign of the depth of the devastating rift, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has insisted Mr Cummings ‘clearly’ did break the rules. 

A private conference call with government whips and the new intake of Conservative MPs today appears to have smoothed over matters somewhat, with no more outright calls for the adviser to quit.

The PM urged people to move on from the controversy, saying there had been plenty of ‘autobiography’ from his chief aide

The PM has seen his party's ratings tumble by four points in a week amid the Dominic Cummings row, while support for Labour has gone up five points, according to a YouGov survey for the Times

The PM has seen his party’s ratings tumble by four points in a week amid the Dominic Cummings row, while support for Labour has gone up five points, according to a YouGov survey for the Times

Pictured: Dominic Cummings

Boris Johnson today

Boris Johnson (right) is facing 90 minutes of scrutiny today, but questions on coronavirus and Dominic Cummings (left) will be restricted to 20 minutes 

In a tetchy round of interviews, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured) said people were entitled to exercise 'personal judgement' over the tough lockdown rules

In a tetchy round of interviews, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured) said people were entitled to exercise ‘personal judgement’ over the tough lockdown rules

The PM's personal ratings have also been plummeting amid the row over his chief adviser's lockdown activities

The PM’s personal ratings have also been plummeting amid the row over his chief adviser’s lockdown activities

55% of Tory voters say Dominic Cummings should resign over his ‘lockdown breach’ journeys 

A majority of Conservative supporters believe that Dominic Cummings should be fired for breaking coronvirus rules, according to a new poll.  

Research by JL Partners for the Daily Mail found 66 per cent of people think Mr Cummings should leave his post amid the row, including 55 per cent of all Conservative voters. 

A further 63 per cent believe Boris Johnson should sack his right hand man, including 53 per cent of Tory supporters. 

Perhaps even more damning is the statistic that 80 per cent of people and almost three quarters of Conservative supporters agree that Mr Cummings broke the rules he played a key role in drawing up. 

In further bleak news for the Prime Minister, the research suggests that former Labour voters in the ‘Red Wall’ in the North and Midlands have reacted particularly badly to the row.    

At 72 per cent, working class ‘C1/C2’ voters are more likely to think the government is behaving as though ‘it is one rule for them and another rule for everyone else’, while 69 per cent are more likely to say Mr Cummings is not telling the truth than voters overall. 

Amid fierce questioning from MPs at the committee hearing this afternoon, Mr Johnson was asked whether the government’s ‘moral authority’ had been compromised.

‘This has really been going on for several days now – in the media at least,’ he said.

‘I, of course, am deeply sorry for all the hurt and pain and anxiety that people have been going through throughout this period – this country has been going through a frankly most difficult time.

‘We are asking people to do quite exceptionally tough things, separating them from their families.’

Mr Johnson said he would not be adding to his previous comments on Mr Cummings and said the public wanted politicians to focus on ‘uniting our message’ and ‘focusing on their needs’.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was clearly frustrated this morning as he was forced to defend the adviser during a tetchy interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. 

Mr Jenrick said people were entitled to ‘do as Dominic Cummings chose to do’ if they could not find childcare.

‘If there are no other options, if you don’t have ready access to childcare, you can do as Dominic Cummings chose to do,’ he said.

‘The guidelines say you must do your best, but they appreciate that family life poses particular challenges and in order to protect you children you are allowed to exercise degree of personal judgement.’

Mr Jenrick also confirmed that a review into whether fines could be cancelled for thousands of people who travelled distances during lockdown – floated by Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night – was not happening. 

Dozens of Mr Johnson’s own MPs have now joined opposition politicians to demand that Mr Cummings is sacked, but the premier has flatly dismissed the calls. 

And Mr Kruger upped the ante by telling Newsnight that ‘one wing of our party is going collectively bonkers by comparing a four year old’s toilet break to the invasion of Suez’.

‘Appreciate the inbox and press are horrific but the PM is signalling (as he did with the sacking of 21 MPs last year – which appalled the same people in the parly party) that he’s serious.’

Mr Kruger said that Mr Johnson and Mr Cummings together were ‘why we won the 2019 election’.

‘An arguable minor infraction of lockdown rules is totally secondary to that,’ he said.

‘Also, No10 won’t budge, so calling for (Mr Cummings) to go is basically declaring no confidence in PM.’

Mr Johnson will be questioned by senior MPs over the coronavirus crisis on Wednesday as calls for his key adviser to resign continue to grow. 

But MPs on the Liaison Committee will only have a maximum of 20 minutes in a 90-minute session to probe the situation.  

Senior ministers have publicly expressed public support for the defiant adviser but a number of Cabinet members are unhappy at the situation. 

In other developments:

  • The number of jobs being bailed out by the government has hit a new high of 8.4million – plus 2.3million self-employed, according to new figures; 
  • Mr Hancock confirmed there could be ‘local lockdowns’ in future if the test and trace system identifies coronavirus hotspots
  • The government has ruled out cancelling fines for families travelling for childcare purposes during lockdown, despite Mr Hancock saying it would be reviewed;
  • A witness to the alleged lockdown breach by Mr Cummings said he has been interviewed by police
  • Mr Johnson said an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak needs to take place

Four-fifths of parents would not have travelled for childcare, survey suggests 

More than 80 per cent of parents did not and would not have travelled for emergency childcare during the lockdown, a survey suggests.

Almost a quarter of people said they had been in similar circumstances to the Prime Minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings and had chosen to stay put, according to a survey of 965 Mumsnet users with at least one child.

A total of 81 per cent of respondents said they either did not or would not have travelled for emergency childcare, with 23 per cent saying that they had found themselves in a situation where one parent was ill and the other suspected they may become ill too, whilst both were caring for a young child and did not travel for emergency back-up.

Of those surveyed, 90 per cent said that in their view Mr Cummings and his family broke the rules of lockdown.

A third of respondents said that knowing the actions he took, they are more likely to break lockdown rules as they now stand – with three quarters those saying they would most likely do so to visit family or friends. 

The YouGov poll is the latest to demonstrate the scale of public anger about the lockdown issue.  

A poll from JL Partners for the Daily Mail revealed that 66 per cent of people think Cummings should leave his post amid the row, including 55 per cent of all Conservative voters. 

A further 63 per cent believe Boris Johnson should sack his right hand man, including 53 per cent of Tory supporters. 

Perhaps even more damning is the statistic that 80 per cent of people and almost three quarters of Conservative supporters agree that Cummings broke the rules he played a key role in drawing up. 

In further bleak news for the Prime Minister, the research suggests that former Labour voters in the ‘Red Wall’ in the North and Midlands have reacted particularly badly to the row.    

At 72 per cent, working class ‘C1/C2’ voters are more likely to think the government is behaving as though ‘it is one rule for them and another rule for everyone else’, while 69 per cent are more likely to say Cummings is not telling the truth than voters overall.  

More research by YouGov last night found Some 71 per cent believe Mr Cummings broke the strict rules, including 56 per cent of Tory voters and 63 per cent of his fellow Brexiteers.

Almost six in 10 voters believe he should resign, including almost half (46 per cent) of Tories and 52 per cent of Leavers. 

The Prime Minister’s refusal to sack him has also had an impact on his own image.

PM’s sister says Dominic Cummings should apologise 

Rachel Johnson believes Dominic Cummings should apologise and admit he ‘messed up’ over a series of ‘bad decisions’ relating to his lockdown trip to Durham.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Boris Johnson‘s younger sister said Brits were ‘unutterably furious,’ with Mr Cummings decision to drive to Durham in March, along with his trip to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight in April.

Ms Johnson told presenter Ben Shepherd: ‘I think that if I had been Cummings, I’d have admitted I’d messed up.’  

She added: ‘I’d have got on the front foot and said, ‘I apologise for all of those who followed my messages, I took bad decisions at the time and I understand how angry it’s made a whole country feel, and please let’s move on because we have bigger fish to fry’.’ 

Mr Johnson had a net approval rating of 19 per cent on Friday before the news of his chief aide’s 260-mile journey to Durham.

But a poll by Savanta ComRes yesterday put Mr Johnson on -1 per cent after he and senior ministers leapt to Mr Cummings’ defence – the lowest of the pandemic.

The Prime Minister now has an approval rating of below that of opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer, and the ratings of other senior ministers including Dominic Raab and Matt Hancock have similarly tumbled.

The row appears to have taken its toll on the Government as a whole, with a Friday approval rating of 20 per cent falling to -2 per cent.  

The Liaison Committee includes William Wragg, who has said it was ‘humiliating and degrading’ to see ministers put out agreed lines in defence of Mr Cummings, and Caroline Nokes, who has informed her party whips there could not be ‘wriggle room’ for some people when it comes to lockdown rules.

Also among those questioning the PM will be Labour chairwoman of the Home Affairs Committee Yvette Cooper, and Tory chairman of the Health Committee Jeremy Hunt – who has said he believes Mr Cummings broke lockdown rules.

Mr Cummings said he had driven to Durham to isolate in a property on his father’s farm because of concerns over care for his four-year-old son if both he and his wife were incapacitated by Covid-19.

Jeremy Hunt’s statement on Dominic Cummings:

In a letter to his constituents calling for Cummings to go, Hunt said: ‘Having watched the broadcast yesterday, my own view is that what he did was a clear breach of the lockdown rules – coming back into work when he had been with his wife who was ill, driving to Durham instead of staying at home and visiting Barnard Castle.

‘These were clearly mistakes – both in terms of the guidance which was crystal clear, and in terms of the signal it would potentially give out to others as someone who was at the centre of government.’ 

But a growing number of Conservative MPs have voiced their frustration over Mr Cummings after he expressed ‘no regrets’ about his trip. 

Scotland Office minister Douglas Ross quit the Government yesterday, saying he could not ‘in good faith’ defend Mr Cummings’ actions.

Tory grandee Sir Roger Gale said the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee should make it clear to the PM his adviser should go.

‘The time I think has come for Mr Cummings to resign or for the PM to dispense of his services,’ the North Thanet MP said.

‘There are people on the 1922 executive who are courageous, and that’s their job.

‘They are elected to tell the PM what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear.’

Tory voters agree that Mr Cummings broke lockdown rules, according to separate YouGov polling from yesterday

Tory voters agree that Mr Cummings broke lockdown rules, according to separate YouGov polling from yesterday

There is broad support for Mr Cummings quitting across Leave and Tory voters, according to a poll yesterday

There is broad support for Mr Cummings quitting across Leave and Tory voters, according to a poll yesterday

Tory MPs who have called for Dominic Cummings to be sacked

The number of Tory MPs who have now called for Mr Cummings to be sacked after his press conference stands at at least 30. 

They are believed to be: 

Douglas Ross – Scotland minister who has quit

Harriett Baldwin – former Treasury minister

Sir Roger Gale – Tory veteran, MP since 1983 

Martin Vickers – Eurosceptic MP for Cleethorpes

Peter Bone – leading Brexit campaigner in 2016

Craig Whittaker – former Tory whip 

Robert Goodwill – former environment minister

Paul Maynard – ex-transport minister

Mark Pawsey – MP for Rugby for 10 years

Sir Robert Syms –  MP for Poole since 1997 

Tim Loughton – former children’s minister

Jason McCartney – former RAF officer

Peter Aldous – MP for Waveney since 2010

John Stevenson – solicitor and MP for Carlisle

Caroline Nokes – ex-immigration minister

Damian Collins – chair of DCMS select committee

Philip Davies – outspoken backbench MP

Julian Sturdy – farmer and MP for York Outer

Alec Shelbrooke – backed Jeremy Hunt for leadership

Mark Harper – former chief whip

Stephen Hammond – arch Remainer MP for Wimbledon

Simon Hoare – Only an MP since 2015

Andrew Percy – ex-Northern Powerhouse minister

David Warburton – MP for Froome since 2015

Steve Baker – Former ERG chairman and Brexiteer

Andrew Jones – North Yorkshire MP since 2010

Jeremy Wright – Former Attorney General and DCMS Secretary

Bob Neill – Justice Select Committee chair

James Gray – MP for North Wiltshire for 23 years

George Freeman – Former transport minister

Mark Garnier – Wyre Forest MP since 2010 

Jackie Doyle-Price – Thurrock MP and former civil servant 

Stephen Metcalfe – Father-of-two with wife Angela 

Elliot Colburn – Carshalton and Wallington MP since December 

Bob Stewart – Former British Army officer



Maya Jama dons a protective mask as she attends rehearsals for Peter Crouch’s new BBC show

Maya Jama dons a protective mask as she attends rehearsals for Peter Crouch’s new BBC show Save Our Summer after Instagram detox

She took a break from Instagram for five days, after announcing she was stepping down from her role as a BBC Radio 1 host.  

But Maya Jama was back with a bang as she returned to the social media site on Wednesday to share a snap of herself at socially distanced rehearsals for Peter Crouch‘s new BBC show Save Our Summer. 

The presenter, 25, donned a safety mask as she stood outside her dressing room pointing to a sign which had her name on it and the words ‘maximum capacity three people’. 

She’s back: Maya Jama was back with a bang as she returned to the social media site on Wednesday to share a snap of herself at rehearsals for Peter Crouch’s new BBC show

The star cut a stylish figure in a gold crop top and denim dungarees which were ripped at the knees.  

Maya captioned the snaps: ‘Socially distanced rehearsals today added mask benefit other than saving lives is I’ve been care free eating all the garlic in sight’.

The presenter later took to her Insta stories where she told fans: ‘Hello my darlings. Really cute because I’ve just downloaded Instagram again and loads of people were like; “are you ok? Is everything alright?” I am, I’ve just been having a little detox from the online world, which felt really cute and lovely. 

Safety first: The presenter, 25, donned a safety mask as she stood outside her dressing room pointing to a sign which had her name on it and the words 'maximum capacity three people'

Safety first: The presenter, 25, donned a safety mask as she stood outside her dressing room pointing to a sign which had her name on it and the words ‘maximum capacity three people’

‘But I’m back and I’m back to rehearsals again.’ 

The show will see Maya, Peter and comedian Alex Horne host an lots of different acts, with everything from music to comedy. 

Earlier this month, Maya announced she was stepping down from her role as BBC Radio 1 Breakfast host. 

The corporation confirmed the star has ‘made the difficult decision not to continue her contract’ due to other commitments.

Break: Of her break from Instagram, Maya told her followers: 'I've just been having a little detox from the online world, which felt really cute and lovely'

Break: Of her break from Instagram, Maya told her followers: ‘I’ve just been having a little detox from the online world, which felt really cute and lovely’

Maya said: ‘Thanks to all you cuties that tuned into the show. It was so great to hear that we have been getting the largest proportion of under 35s tuning in for our on-demand show via BBC Sounds. So we are going out with a bang! Love you.’

Maya, who joined the station in 2018, broadcast her final show on Friday 3 May.

A press release read: ‘Exciting commitments later in the year mean that she is not able to dedicate the time needed to her show.

‘She has loved every moment of her time at Radio 1 and would like to thank the team for their hard work and friendship during the last two years. ‘ 

Meanwhile, Mel C is now reportedly in talks with the BBC to secure her own radio show with the network.  

Latest project: Maya teased a glimpse of her script will follows Maya, Peter and comedian Alex Horne host an lots of different acts, with everything from music to comedy

Latest project: Maya teased a glimpse of her script will follows Maya, Peter and comedian Alex Horne host an lots of different acts, with everything from music to comedy



Burglar fell through workshop roof as couple made PPE for NHS

Bizarre moment bungling burglar almost falls through workshop roof sending debris crashing down onto couple making facemasks for NHS workers

  • James McConville and girlfriend were working late when the roof began to fall in 
  • Debris just missed Mr McConville partner’s head and she was left badly shaken
  • Mr McConville has used a 3D printer to make hundreds of free PPE masks 
  • CCTV captured the burglar running from the scene seconds after the incident 

A burglar who tried to break into a workshop nearly fell on top of a couple who were working around-the-clock to provide NHS workers with Personal Protective Equipment.

James McConville and his girlfriend were working late in the workshop in Aintree, when the roof began to fall in.

Mr McConville, who was in the kitchen at the time making drinks, ran into the workshop and saw a hooded man staring down at him through the hole.

James McConville (pictured) and his girlfriend were working late in the workshop in Aintree,  making free PPE masks for NHS hospitals, when the roof began to fall in

The debris just missed his partner’s head and the incident left her badly shaken. CCTV footage captured the extraordinary moment, and showed James consoling his girlfriend who was visibly upset after the drama, which could have left them both seriously injured.

CCTV footage also captured a man running from the scene seconds after the incident at around 10.12pm on May 9.

Mr McConville, who has used a 3D printer to make hundreds of PPE masks for front line workers during the coronavirus crisis, was annoyed that the incident interrupted his efforts to provide workers with free face masks.

CCTV footage captured the extraordinary moment when the burglar almost fell through the roof in the workshop where James McConville and his girlfriend were making PPE masks using a 3D printer

CCTV footage captured the extraordinary moment when the burglar almost fell through the roof in the workshop where James McConville and his girlfriend were making PPE masks using a 3D printer

CCTV footage also captured a man running from the scene seconds after the incident at around 10.12pm on May 9

CCTV footage also captured a man running from the scene seconds after the incident at around 10.12pm on May 9

He told the Liverpool Echo: ‘It’s hard to keep faith when things like this happen, especially when you’ve spent every waking hour of the past six weeks and thousands of pounds of your own money to provide PPE to our NHS and essential workers then something like this happens and crushes your spirits. Some karma right.’

He said that production had to stop while he repaired the damage and made the building safe.

He added: ‘I looked up and saw a hooded person leaning over the hole, he looked me dead in the eye before running off over the roof scared.

‘I didn’t know how many of them there were at the time so I didn’t want to open the shutters and give chase.

‘Luckily, I was in the workshop at the time to scare him off and no one was hurt, Kathryn was using my laptop and pieces of the roof fell onto it just barely missing her head.

Mr McConville said that production had to stop while he repaired the damage and made the building safe

Mr McConville said that production had to stop while he repaired the damage and made the building safe

‘It could have been a lot worse, but thankfully no one was hurt and nothing was taken.

‘I’m just angry that it happened in front of Kathryn as it obviously shocked and terrified her.’

James started making the masks on March 28 to help provide NHS staff and other frontline workers with the PPE they needed.

His first post on Facebook received thousands of shares he was soon inundated with messages from workers in need of masks.

The debris just missed his partner's head and the incident left her badly shaken

The debris just missed his partner’s head and the incident left her badly shaken

James has since used a collection of printers to make hundreds of masks.

He has spent thousands of pounds of his own money on the venture, which has supplied staff at the region’s biggest hospitals with PPE.

Anyone with information about the attempted break-in at the workshop should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



Coronavirus UK: Vicar who waded into Dominic Cummings row once acted in The Bill

The vicar who called for a review on lockdown fines handed to families travelling for childcare purposes is a former actor who was in TV crime dramas Boon and The Bill.

Reverend Martin Poole, the vicar of St Luke’s Prestonville in Brighton, raised the issue at the daily Downing Street press conference in a question to Matt Hancock.

The Health Secretary pledged to speak to the Treasury in his response yesterday to Mr Poole, but the Government has since confirmed there will no review of the fines.

Today, it emerged that Mr Poole is married with a grown-up twin daughters, both 26, and was in one episode of ITV’s Boon in 1991 alongside Michael Elphick and Neil Morrissey. 

Mr Poole appeared in The Bill in 1990 (above) as well as another 1990s TV crime drama, Boon

Martin Poole asks Matt Hancock about travelling for childcare in yesterday’s press conference (left) and is also pictured appearing in The Bill in 1990 (right)

Martin Poole (left) had a minor role in The Bill in 1990 in which he played a shop customer

Martin Poole (left) had a minor role in The Bill in 1990 in which he played a shop customer

Mr Poole appeared in episode 56 of series six of The Bill, called Beat Crime (video above)  

Mr Poole, who has been vicar of St Luke’s since June 2010, also had a minor role in The Bill in 1990 and appeared in the 1992 comedy film Leon the Pig Farmer.

Before working as a priest, he ran a media branding and marketing consultancy which worked with companies such as ITV, Disney and other broadcasters.

Yesterday, Mr Hancock faced a string of questions over the ongoing row about the Prime Minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings travelling to Durham with his family.

Mr Poole, from Brighton, asked him: ‘Will the Government review all penalty fines imposed on families travelling for childcare purposes during lockdown?’

Mr Hancock listens as Mr Poole asks him about travelling for childcare via videolink yesterday

Mr Hancock listens as Mr Poole asks him about travelling for childcare via videolink yesterday

Mr Poole, who used to run a media branding consultancy, is married to Sally with a grown-up daughter called Esther (pictured at her graduation in 2014)

Mr Poole, who used to run a media branding consultancy, is married to Sally with a grown-up daughter called Esther (pictured at her graduation in 2014)

Mr Hancock vowed to give a ‘full answer’ in writing and promised to make an announcement on the issue at a future press conference.

But within minutes of the press conference coming to an end, Downing Street sources briefed political reporters that there will be no review.

And today, Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed that there will not be a review of penalties handed out for childcare-related travel.

He told BBC’s Breakfast programme: ‘No, there isn’t going to be a formal review. It’s for the police to decide whether to impose fines under the law.

Mr Poole is pictured during a visit to 10 Downing Street in Westminster in December 2015

Mr Poole is pictured during a visit to 10 Downing Street in Westminster in December 2015

Mr Poole's media consultancy did work with ITV and Disney. He is pictured with his wife Sally

Mr Poole’s media consultancy did work with ITV and Disney. He is pictured with his wife Sally

Boris Johnson's chief political advisor Dominic Cummings arrives at Downing Street today

Boris Johnson’s chief political advisor Dominic Cummings arrives at Downing Street today

‘They have the guidance that we’ve provided and the national police chiefs have provided their own guidance which does give officers a degree of discretion to use their common sense, reflecting the fact that all of our circumstances are different and families in particular face particular challenges.

Police look into reports of bishop threatened online over Dominic Cummings comments 

Police are investigating after a bishop who critcised Dominic Cummings received death threats.

Helen-Ann Hartley, the Bishop of Ripon, said she received an email saying: ‘Stay out of politics or it will be the death of you’.

She is one of a number of bishops to receive death threats after speaking out against Mr Cummings.

Bishop Hartley had earlier written about missing her father’s birthday during lockdown as he recovered from radiotherapy.

‘Integrity, trust and leadership were never there; just a driven misguided ideology of power that has total disregard for the most vulnerable,’ she wrote, after it emerged Mr Cummings had driven 260 miles from London to his parent’s home in Durham at the height of coronavirus restrictions.

‘My parents live in Durham, an hour away from where we live,’ she added. ‘My father finished radiotherapy treatment before lockdown. I’ve missed his birthday, Mothering Sunday and countless other catch-ups. That’s a fraction of a story compared with others.’

Bishop Hartley said she had also received many messages of support, as well as the death threat which she reported the message to police.

In a statement, a spokesman said: ‘A complaint has been made to North Yorkshire Police and inquiries are ongoing into the matter.’

Bishop Hartley was one of more than a dozen Church of England bishops to criticise Boris Johnson, warning he was risking lives and jeopardising the public’s trust in his leadership by refusing to sack Mr Cummings.

Several reported later receiving death threats.

Bishop of Worcester John Inge tweeted that he received an email, warning ‘stay out of politics or we’ll kill you’ after he criticised Mr Johnson’s ‘risible defence’ of Mr Cummings on Sunday night.

Christine Hardman, Bishop of Newcastle, wrote: ‘I too received such an email. I feel concern for the person who sent it and will hold him or her in prayer.’ 

The previous night she had posted that she was ‘deeply troubled’ by the Prime Minister’s defence of his adviser. 

‘They are encouraging their officers to engage in the first instance, to explain and to resort to fines only where absolutely necessary and in most cases that is what’s happened.’

Mr Jenrick insisted Mr Cummings did not break the rules and has not been fined, but Mr Poole said he thought the police should look into it.

Speaking to MailOnline today, he added: ‘Yes I am a little disappointed but I understand that sometimes people say things in the heat of the moment that can’t be followed through. 

‘I appreciate Government honesty at all times so if the answer is no they can’t do it, then I take that at face value.’

Asked if he had been contacted: ‘No, nobody has. Will someone contact me back? I’m not sure.

‘I took Matt Hancock at his word yesterday when he said someone would get back, we’ll just have to wait and see. 

‘There’s not a great deal of contact in this process anyway because I sent the question over at the weekend the same as other members of the public and I had some limited correspondence with the Cabinet Office yesterday morning when they said they selected that question. 

‘That’s all the contact I had with them.’

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said Mr Poole’s question needed an urgent answer from Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Yesterday evening, Mr Thomas-Symonds said: ‘It’s now been made incredibly difficult to police vital public health guidance, as this flip-flop over fines shows.’

The latest figures available from the National Police Chiefs’ Council show a total of 14,244 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were recorded by forces in England and Wales between March 27 and May 11, for breaches of the Health Protection Regulations.

It is not known how many, if any, fines have been handed to families travelling for childcare purposes.

At a briefing at the end of April, Hampshire Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen said the ‘vast majority’ had been handed to people out in public spaces without a reasonable excuse who had ignored officers’ instructions.

Civil liberties groups and lawyers have been campaigning for a review of all FPNs issued by police during lockdown.

Mr Cummings has stood by his actions in making a 260-mile trip to Durham during lockdown with his family.

Mr Cummings says he made the journey from London not only over fears of a lack of childcare if he became incapacitated with Covid-19 but also concerns about his family’s safety.