Dominic Cummings’ wife described how he ‘collapsed and had spasms’ during family’s coronavirus isolation – but failed to mention that they had broken lockdown to travel from London to Durham
- Dominic Cummings’ wife Mary Wakefield wrote an account of coronavirus ordeal
- She described how No10 chief ‘collapsed’ and had spasms as he was bedridden
- But she did not mention that family had relocated to Durham during isolation
- Revealed their son nursed Mr Cummings despite claim they went for childcare
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Dominic Cummings’ wife gave a detailed account of the family’s coronavirus ordeal – but failed to mention that they had broken lockdown to travel from London to Durham.
Journalist Mary Wakefield revealed that No10 chief Mr Cummings, 48, spent 10 days bedridden after ‘collapsing’ and having ‘spasms’ with the disease at the end of March.
Despite claims that the couple travelled 260 miles so they could access childcare, the article Ms Wakefield wrote for the Spectator last month says he was nursed by their young son.
And it gave the strong sense that the family had remained in the capital, saying Mr Cummings had ‘rushed home’ when she first developed symptoms, and that they ’emerged from quarantine into the almost comical uncertainty of London lockdown’.
Mr Cummings with his wife Mary outside their London home last year, after he had begun working for Mr Johnson
March 23 Boris Johnson announces lockdown.
March 27: On the same day the Prime Minister tests positive for coronavirus, his top aide is seen running across Downing Street to get home to his wife Mary Wakefield.
She later wrote in The Spectator that Mr Cummings did ‘rush home’ to look after her when she developed symptoms.
March 28 & 29: Mr Cummings develops symptoms of the disease over the weekend, Downing Street confirms, with Mrs Wakefield saying he felt ‘weird’.
He reportedly collapsed before spending ten days bedridden with a high fever, spasms and breathlessness.
March 31: The Government adviser was in Durham, according to the investigation, with police confirming they visited an individual who had travelled to the city from London to self-isolate.
April 5: Mr Cummings is allegedly spotted by a witness at the grounds of his parents’ home near Durham at 5.45pm with a child believed to be his son. The same evening Scotland’s chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood resigns for breaching lockdown rules for visiting her second home.
April 14: The PM’s aide is photographed in Downing Street for the first time since recovering from coronavirus.
Boris Johnson was today warned he cannot stonewall demands to sack his right hand man for flouting lockdown rules by travelling to his parents’ Durham farm to self-isolate.
He was spotted by a witness at the gate of the property, with Abba’s Dancing Queen playing loudly.
The bombshell revelations sparked accusations of hypocrisy with Mr Cummings’ position branded ‘untenable’, and signs of disquiet among Tory MPs.
Dorset police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill warned this morning that the flagrant breach will be thrown in the face of officers as they tried to restrain sun-seeking visitors on what is expected to be a hot bank holiday weekend.
In a defiant statement this morning, a No10 spokesman said he had not broken any guidelines with the 264-mile trip.
‘Owing to his wife being infected with suspected Coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for,’ the spokesman said.
‘His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to but separate from his extended family in case their help was needed. His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside.
‘At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported. His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.’
Allies pointed to a comment from deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries on March 24, when she was asked what parents should do if both fall ill. ‘A small child is vulnerable. If adults cannot look after the child, that is an exceptional circumstance,’ Dr Harries said.
Mr Cummings spend 14 days off work, twice the usual period of quarantine, sparking questions about his health. But No 10 throughout insisted he was ‘in contact’ with staff in Downing Street.
Mr Cummings and Ms Wakefield married in 2011. Mary is a journalist for the Spectator and the daughter of Sir Humphry Tyrrell Wakefield, owner of Chillingham Castle and a friend of Prince Philip.
In her account, Ms Wakefield said her husband ‘rushed home’ after she became ill. ‘But 24 hours later he said ”I feel weird”.’.
‘Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs. He could breathe, but only in a limited, shallow way,’ she wrote.
‘After a week, we reached peak corona uncertainty. Day six is a turning point, I was told: that’s when you either get better or head for ICU.
‘But was Dom fighting off the bug or was he heading for a ventilator? Who knew? I sat on his bed staring at his chest, trying to count his breaths per minute.
‘The little oxygen reader we’d bought on Amazon indicated that he should be in hospital, but his lips weren’t blue and he could talk in full sentences, such as: ‘Please stop staring at my chest, sweetheart.’
Despite the suggestion that the couple had gone to Durham for childcare, Ms Wakefield said Ceddy, had ‘administered’ Ribena to Mr Cummings with the ‘grim insistence of a Broadmoor nurse’.
‘This might be my only useful advice for other double-Covid parents or single mothers with pre-schoolers,’ she wrote.
‘Get out the doctor’s kit and make it your child’s job to take your temperature. Any game that involves lying down is a good game.’
On the end of their ordeal, Ms Wakefield said they had emerged from quarantine into the ‘uncertainty of London lockdown’.
‘After the uncertainty of the bug itself, we emerged from quarantine into the almost comical uncertainty of London lockdown. Everything and its opposite seems true. People are frightened and they’re calm; it’s spring and it’s not. Queueing’s a pain in the ass and the most fun you’ll have all day.
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