The SNP has written to the Prime Minister and the head of the civil service calling for an investigation into Dominic Cummings' "rule-breaking and the Tory Government's cover-up".

In the letter, addressed to both Boris Johnson and Sir Mark Sedwill, Ian Blackford called for the sacking of Cummings, as well as answers to 'serious questions' about the PM's role in the 'cover-up'.

It was revealed late on Friday that Cummings, a top advisor within the UK Government, had travelled 260 miles to his parents home in County Durham from his own home in London when he was experiencing coronavirus symptoms. 

READ MORE: Number 10 confirm Dominic Cummings' 260-mile lockdown trip but say actions were 'in line with guidelines'

Downing Street has responded to the claims, and said Cummings' actions were 'in line with guidelines' and the police had not spoken to him about his journey, despite reports in the media.

Cummings talked to reporters outside his London home on Saturday afternoon, and said: "I behaved reasonably and legally."

When a reporter suggested to him outside his London home that the trip to Durham did not look good, he replied: “Who cares about good looks.?

“It’s a question of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you guys think.”

But the SNP are now calling for a Cabinet Office investigation and on-the-record answers to key questions, including when the Prime Minister first found out about the trip and why Cummings was not asked to resign at the time.

The letter makes reference to other politicians who have resigned following their own lockdown flouting, such as Scotland's former chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said: "Millions of us have made huge sacrifices over the months to obey the rules, while Boris Johnson's most senior adviser was breaking them. There cannot be one rule for the Tory government and another for the rest of us.

HeraldScotland:

"The excuses are not credible. There was absolutely nothing in the list of reasons under the law for leaving the house that allowed someone to travel the length of the country to stay with their parents, particularly not someone who was known to have the virus.

READ MORE: Ian Blackford suggests government 'cover-up' over Cummings' alleged 260-mile lockdown trip

"The Tories vociferously demanded the resignation of Catherine Calderwood that same weekend. As Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said at the time 'There cannot be one rule for bosses and another for everyone else'.

"People are understandably questioning Boris Johnson's judgement. He must show Dominic Cummings the door and answer for his own role. Questions over the Tory cover up will only grow unless credible answers are provided – or until Mr Cummings is removed from his post."

Here is the full text of Ian Blackford's letter: 
 

Dear Cabinet Secretary,

Recent media revelations that the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, Mr Dominic Cummings, has broken clear Covid-19 lockdown rules are a matter of serious public concern.

This matter goes to the very heart of public trust in the UK government and its response to Covid-19. Millions of people have made huge sacrifices over the last number of months to obey lockdown rules, and yet now there is clear evidence that the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser was wilfully breaking these same rules.

In this context, I believe your office needs to quickly intervene and investigate these revelations as a matter of urgency. The Cabinet Office is charged with the formulation of special advisers’ code of conduct, therefore it is right that your office holds responsibility in this matter.

It is clear that there are now serious questions for both Mr Cummings and the Prime Minister to answer. In the interests of fully uncovering those answers, I believe it is now essential for your office to conduct an investigation into these matters. I see no reason why such an investigation could not be conducted and concluded within a matter of days.

I would suggest that such an investigation could begin by asking some fundamental questions - questions that are yet to be answered by Downing Street, including:

  • When the Prime Minister first found out about Mr Cummings’ trip to Durham and the subsequent police inquiries into his rule-breaking of lockdown guidance
  • Whether anyone in the UK government sanctioned the rule-breaking incident
  • Given that these incidents occurred around 8 weeks ago, why Mr Cummings wasn't asked to resign or sacked at the time?
  • What role the Prime Minister and UK Government played in the decision to cover up this incident by keeping the public in the dark for eight weeks until the story was broken by a newspaper?

In the last number of weeks, a number of senior scientific advisers and officials have been forced to resign their positions as a direct result of breaches to clear lockdown rules. It is therefore critical that the most senior political adviser to the Prime Minister is held to account in the exact same way. There simply cannot be one rule for bosses and another for everyone else.

I believe questions over these most serious allegations will only grow unless there is a swift investigation - or Mr Cummings is removed from his post.

I look forward to hearing your response. 

Yours sincerely,

Ian Blackford MP, 
SNP Westminster Leader

CC' Prime Minister Boris Johnson