Durham police found after an investigation that Cummings’ Bernard Castle’s 226-mile route “could be a slight violation of the rules that prevented police intervention.”
No further police action will be taken against Cumming, and police say they do not think he committed any crime while driving about 2,260 miles from London to Durham to evacuate his family while in self-immolation.
But the announcement from police on Thursday took another turn in a scandal that threatened to trade Johnson’s response to the epidemic.
Both Cummings and the Prime Minister have repeatedly insisted that he made no mistake in driving from London to Durham in late March and visiting Bernard Castle in mid-April on his way back to London.
Cummings claimed Monday that he drove half an hour into the city only to have his eyesight checked and to see if he could drive safely – a claim that met with criticism and skepticism from some lawyers.
At the time, Johnson urged the British to “stay at home” and government guidelines allowed people to leave the house once a day for practice but not to drive elsewhere to do so.
Johnson’s response to the police announcement suggests that he will not support Cummins. “Police have made it clear that Mr Cummings is not taking any action on his self-immolation and has not violated the rules of going to Durham,” a Downing Street spokesman said Thursday.
“The prime minister has said he believes Mr Cummings acted rationally and legally considering all the circumstances and he has taken the matter as closed.”
But a growing group of lawyers has called on the commission – many of whom have resigned as architects of government policy – to resign and accused Johnson of undermining his own public health message in the midst of the epidemic.
“The government has seen Boris Johnson as unfaithful and unprincipled because of his reluctance or inability to do the right thing,” Labor leader Kay Starrmer said Thursday. “Worst of all, he has undermined public health advice that keeps us all safe, just to have a partner for his work. The health of our country must come first.”
On Wednesday, Johnson said he felt “outraged” that people could feel Cummings’ actions, adding: “But I think what they want now is for us to focus on them and their needs instead of a political ding dong with a mentor. May or may not. “
Sarah Dean and Luke McGee of CNN contributed to the reporting.