Boris Johnson says it's time to 'move on' from Dominic Cummings row

Prime Minister rules out inquiry into his adviser, claiming it would waste 'official time' as government battles coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on reopening shops in further easing of lockdown measures

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out holding an inquiry into the behaviour of his chief adviser, Dominic Cummings.

He told a Committee of MPs that the country wanted the Government to focus on fighting the Covid-19 coronavirus instead.

Mr Johnson said he understood "why people have been so concerned" but said he wanted to "move on".

Mr Cummings and his wife drove from London to Durham during the lockdown, to stay at his parents’ farm because he feared he couldn’t look after his young son. He also drove his family to Barnard Castle.

He's insisted he broke no rules, but critics claim be broke the spirit of the lockdown rules, at least, while many people were making sacrifices in an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19. More than 30 MPs have called for his resignation.

Speaking to the House of Commons Liasion Committee, Mr Johnson rejected calls for Dominic Cummings to face an inquiry over his actions during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Prime Minister told the House of Commons Liaison Committee: “Quite frankly I’m not certain – right now – that an inquiry into that matter is a very good use of official time.

“We are working flat out on coronavirus."

Mr Johnson said he thought it would be a “good thing” for people to understand what he had been told by Mr Cummings, as he admitted the row over his aide’s trip to Durham had been a “very frustrating episode”.

Defending Monday’s press conference in the 10 Downing Street garden, the PM told the committee: “I thought that it would be a very good thing if people could understand what I had understood myself previously, I think on the previous day, about what took place.

“And there you go – we’ve had a long go at it, and yes look it’s been a very frustrating episode and I understand why people have been so concerned.

“Because this country is going through a horrendously difficult time, but I really think that in so far as what we need to do is to focus on getting the message right, which is probably common ground in your committee, then I think what we need to do really is to move on and to get on to how we are going to sort out the coronavirus.”

Conservative MP Simon Hoare told the PM the nation will be “far less energetic” about obeying future restrictions as “a direct result of the activities of your senior adviser”.

Mr Hoare asked what MPs should tell constituents who ask “if other people don’t abide by it why on earth should we” because “we know what your views are, frankly Prime Minister, I don’t think anybody understands why you hold those views”.

Mr Johnson replied: “I don’t think that’s true about how the British people will respond to the next phases, to how to work the test and trace system, I don’t think that’s how they responded at all throughout the crisis.

“If, just suppose for a second that you were right, which I don’t accept, all the more reason now for us to be consistent and clear in our message driving those key messages.”