Former CPS chief prosecutor urges Scotland Yard to ‘thoroughly’ investigate Dominic Cummings’ trip


Former CPS chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal urges Scotland Yard to ‘thoroughly’ investigate Dominic Cummings’ trip from London to Durham

  • Lawyers for Afzal written to Met chief Cressida Dick, Jo Farrell and Max Hill QC
  • He called for ‘thorough investigation’ into 264-mile journey made by Cummings
  • Letters describe investigation by Durham Police as ‘short, narrow and limited’ 

A former chief prosecutor has urged Scotland Yard to investigate Dominic Cummings’ trip from London to Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.

Lawyers for Nazir Afzal, former chief prosecutor for the North West, have written three letters to Met commissioner Cressida Dick, Durham Police chief constable Jo Farrell and director of public prosecutions Max Hill QC calling for a ‘thorough investigation’ into the 264-mile journey made by the prime minister’s chief adviser on March 27.

The letters describe the investigation carried out by Durham Police as ‘short, narrow and limited,’ and call on the Metropolitan Police to engage in their own investigation. 

The three-day investigation found that Mr Cummings had probably breached regulations when he took a 52-mile round trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son. The force decided no further action would be taken, however. 

Lawyers for Nazir Afzal (pictured), former chief prosecutor for the North West, have written three letters to Met commissioner Cressida Dick, Durham Police chief constable Jo Farrell and director of public prosecutions Max Hill QC

Mr Afzal, whose brother Umar died from the virus on April 8 while isolating at home, said he was concerned police and prosecutors had not received all relevant information about the case so their decision-making would be incomplete.

He said he has found new information that ‘reflected poorly’ on the people who had considered the allegations so far, and that public confidence in the law had been damaged by the affair.

‘I am concerned that the police and prosecutors have not received all relevant information and that their decision making will be incomplete as a result,’ Mr Afzal said in a statement posted to Twitter. 

‘I am troubled that previous correspondence from people including MPs has gone unanswered. Public confidence is damaged as a consequence. 

‘We have already had new information from reliable sources that reflect poorly on everybody who has considered the allegations thus far, including the likelihood that there are other relevant events.’ 

In a letter to Met commissioner Cressida Dick, Mr Afzal’s lawyers argued the ‘continuing pressing public imperative to ensure strict compliance’ with advice about the coronavirus crisis ‘makes this matter urgent.’

'I am concerned that the police and prosecutors have not received all relevant information and that their decision making will be incomplete as a result,' Mr Afzal said in a statement posted to Twitter

‘I am concerned that the police and prosecutors have not received all relevant information and that their decision making will be incomplete as a result,’ Mr Afzal said in a statement posted to Twitter

The Durham police investigation found that Dominic Cummings (pictured) had probably breached regulations when he took a 52-mile round trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son

The Durham police investigation found that Dominic Cummings (pictured) had probably breached regulations when he took a 52-mile round trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son

They also noted the three-day investigation by Durham Police only took in Mr Cummings’ movements in County Durham and did not consider why he left London, the Guardian reported.

His wife Mary Wakefield had been displaying symptoms of the virus at the time. 

‘The apparent wrongdoing included actions in London, including Mr Cummings leaving his home without reasonable excuse on 27 March,’ the letter says.     

The note to Max Hill, written by Hodge Jones & Allen, added: ‘We emphasise on behalf of Mr Afzal that it would be misconceived for the police or the Crown Prosecution Service to approach Mr Cummings’ conduct as if it were insufficiently serious to warrant prosecution at this stage.

‘The seriousness of Mr Cummings’ wrongdoing is an assessment for prosecutors to make, once they have been given the relevant evidence by police and other investigators.’

The letters each had a nine-page annex explaining what is currently known about Mr Cummings’ movement during the lockdown, alongside detailing the measures at the time.

All three recipients have been given a 14-day timeframe in which to respond.

A spokeswoman for Number 10 told the Guardian it would not comment on the letters. A CPS spokesman added: ‘It is not the function of the CPS to investigate allegations of crime. Investigations into alleged criminal conduct are a matter for the relevant police force.’

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