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Dominic Cummings was heckled with shouts of “hypocrite”, “resign” and “shame” as returned home on Sunday evening, a few hours after Boris Johnson refused to fire him over an ongoing row about his behaviour during the coronavirus lockdown.
As the PM’s top aide walked along the road in north London, one woman could be heard shouting: “My mum’s terrified, my dad’s had three shoulder operations… she won’t even entertain me in her garden with a tent.”
The woman, who was filming Cummings on her phone as she spoke, could then be heard telling him: “I’m a single parent. I’ve had no childcare since the beginning of this whole mess, not that I can afford to pay any child care.”
Another onlooker shouted: “Would you recommend Bernard Castle for a day out?”
Cummings appeared not to respond to the heckling.
Hours earlier, Johnson defended his senior aide following allegations he breached lockdown restrictions.
The PM chose to front the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing to publicly back Cummings, saying he had “acted responsibly, legally and with integrity” by driving 260 miles to County Durham to isolate and that “any parent would frankly understand what he did”.
But Tory backbenchers tore into Johnson over his handling of the row, while scientists claimed the defence of Cummings’ interpretation of the lockdown rules undermined efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Keir Starmer led a chorus of criticism and said the PM had treated the British people “with contempt” by refusing to act.