December 05, 2021

Coronavirus: 'Die-in' outside Dominic Cummings's house over COVID-19 response

June 05, 2020

Protesters staged a "die-in" outside Dominic Cummings' house over the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Holding signs and wearing face masks, about 20 campaigners lay on the street outside the north London home of the prime minister's controversial adviser on Thursday evening.

One of the placards read: "Over 50,000 dead while you're playing king of the castle."

Mr Cummings, and his boss Mr Johnson, have faced questions over him travelling to Durham days after the lockdown was announced to stay at a house on his parents' property after his wife displayed COVID-19 symptoms.

He also drove 30 minutes to beauty spot Barnard Castle, claiming he needed to test his eyesight after being ill to check if he could drive back to London.

Protester Sita Bilani said she was unable to attend her aunt's funeral after she died with COVID-19 in April due to lockdown and social distancing measures.

"It's insulting to hear Boris Johnson say we should 'move on'," she said.

"The lack of remorse, not just for Cummings' disregard for the rules but for the thousands of preventable deaths is a disgrace."

Campaigners said they all remained two metres from each other during the 30-minute protest.

They said the response from the street was "largely positive", with about 15 neighbours joining them and one leading a chant of "Black Lives Matter".

The protesters called on the government to sack Mr Cummings and implement a strategy to tackle the pandemic based on World Health Organisation recommendations.

And they demanded Public Health England publish the "full findings" of its review which found black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are at significantly higher risk of dying from COVID-19.

The protesters said they intend to carry out more demonstrations on the issue.

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In a news conference two weeks ago about his trip to Durham, Mr Cummings said his London home has been a "target for harassment".

He added: "I did not make my movements public at the time, because my London home was already a target.

"I did not believe I was obliged to make my parents' home and my sister's home a target for harassment as well."

The Metropolitan Police said they attended the protest and dispersed it after a "short time", with no arrests made.

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