'PM has no option but to sack chief advisor' - SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford responds to Dominic Cummings' explanation for lockdown trip

The SNP's leader in Westminster says Prime Minister Boris Johnson has no option but to sack Dominic Cummings after he defended his 260-mile lockdown trip and said he did not regret his actions.

Ian Blackford MP says Mr Cummings has "done nothing but double down on the double standards he has displayed" when explaining why he travelled from London to his parents' farm in County Durham when his wife started showing Covid-19 symptoms at the end of March.

During the press conference today, Mr Cummings said he travelled there with his wife and four-year-old son because they were in an "exceptional" situation of having no suitable childcare available in London if they both became seriously ill.

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'I don't regret what I did' - Dominic Cummings explains his actions during lockd...
Ian Blackford says Prime Minister Boris Johnson has 'no option' but to sack Dominic Cummings

He also confirmed he drove to the outskirts of Barnard Castle village, about a half hour’s drive away, to make sure he was fit to drive before heading back down to London for work after self-isolating for 14 days. He claims he was having problems with his eyesight in the day before when battling illness.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has backed his senior adviser and said he acted legally and reasonably, but critics say the UK Government's lockdown message has been undermined.

Speaking after Mr Cummings' press conference today, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "What should have been a resignation statement turned out to be a botched PR exercise that changes nothing. It is now beyond doubt Dominic Cummings broke multiple lockdown rules.

“There was no apology and no contrition from Mr Cummings for his behaviour – and now, following this unrepentant press conference, there are no excuses left for him.“He has done nothing but double down on the double standards he has displayed and which millions of people across the UK are furious about."Let’s be clear there is nothing about Mr Cummings that is exceptional except his complete inability to realise he broke the rules."

Mr Blackford continued: “The Prime Minister has no option but to sack Mr Cummings. His failure to do so so far is a gross failure of leadership.“Boris Johnson has apparently known about this for weeks, has failed to offer any answers himself and now has no option but to sack Dominic Cummings and answer questions about his own role in the Downing Street cover-up."Boris Johnson's failure to show leadership is damaging the public health message and putting lives at risk, as leading public health experts have warned."