By Lina Saigol
More than two-thirds of Brits believe the prime minister’s chief political aide, Dominic Cummings, broke lockdown rules when he traveled to his parents’ home while he was suffering coronavirus symptoms, according to a new poll published on Tuesday.
The snap survey by YouGov /zigman2/quotes/204057237/delayed UK:YOU +0.66% of more than 1,160 adults nationwide — taken after Cummings gave an unprecedented Downing Street news conference on Monday defending his 260-mile trip to Durham — found that 71% of respondents think he broke lockdown rules.
The survey also found that 59% of voters think Cummings should now resign following the controversy. A similar poll, carried out before Monday’s press conference, found that 52% of those polled thought he should quit.
Answering questions about Cummings behavior over the lockdown at the daily government briefing on Tuesday, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock denied that Cummings had damaged the credibility of the government. “My view is that what Cummings did was within the guidelines. After all the guidelines allowed for exceptional circumstances, including child care,” Hancock said.
His comments came as calls from back-bench Conservative MPs for Cummings to quit continued to grow. On Tuesday, junior minister Douglas Ross resigned from the government over the handling of the crisis by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has refused to sack his aide and said Cummings didn’t break any law.
A separate poll published on Tuesday by Savanta ComRes found that Johnson’s approval rating had plummeted to -1, a 20-point drop in just four days, while overall government approval has fallen to -2, a drop of 16 points in one day.