UK coronavirus live: Johnson tells people to move on from Cummings row amid launch of test-and-trace strategy

By Kevin Rawlinson (now); Lucy Campbell, Sarah Marsh and Alexandra Topping (earlier)

14:22

Evening summary

  • More than 40 Tory MPs have now called for Dominic Cummings to go. With Downing Street continuing to defend him, the senior government minister Penny Mordaunt also said there were “inconsistencies” in Cummings’ account of his actions and apologised to her constituents for how recent days were distracting from key public health messages.
  • Boris Johnson said an independent inquiry into Dominic Cummings’ actions wouldn’t be a good use of official time. The PM was grilled on the Cummings affair and his government’s response to the pandemic by the powerful liaison committee. Under forensic questioning and several times facing the charges of putting political concerns before the nation’s health and of underestimating the public’s anger, the prime minister said it was time to “move on” from the “very frustrating” episode. He also didn’t give a clear answer on whether he was saying that if people don’t have access to childcare they could do what Cummings did.
  • The NHS test and trace programme goes live at 9am tomorrow. If you get a call from a contact tracer because you’ve been in contact with an infected person, you must isolate for 14 days, even if you don’t have symptoms. The government has said these instructions must be followed. Though they will be voluntary at first, they will be made mandatory if necessary. “It’s your civic duty to follow test and trace instructions,” Matt Hancock said.
  • Officers are reporting people breaking lockdown rules and using Dominic Cummings as an excuse, the West Midlands police and crime commissioner said. David Jamieson told the BBC in the last few days the public has pushed back and the police’s ability to enforce the rules has been undermined. He said people are telling officers that “if it is OK for Cummings, it is OK for us”.

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