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Live Reporting

Edited by Paulin Kola

All times stated are UK

  1. Ireland: First zero coronavirus deaths since 21 March

    A busker on Grafton Street in Dublin

    Ireland reported no coronavirus related deaths on Monday, marking the first day without a fatality since 21 March.

    A total of 1,606 people have died from Covid-19 in the country.

    The Department of Health confirmed 59 additional cases of the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 24,698.

    Last week, chief medical officer Tony Holohan said that the virus had been "effectively extinguished from the community".

    From 8 June, household visits will be allowed in Ireland and small retail outlets will open with social distancing. Public libraries will also open.

  2. BreakingStay tuned for the daily briefing

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to speak shortly at the government's daily coronavirus briefing.

    He is set to be joined Prof Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England's medical director.

  3. Reality Check

    Was Cummings walk within the guidelines?

    Dominic Cummings said “after I started to recover, one day in the second week, I tried to walk outside the house”.

    He said he, his wife and son walked into woods owned by his father next to the cottage they were staying in. He said they were seen by some people from a distance but had no interaction with them.

    So, was the walk within the guidelines? That depends on when it took place.

    On 7 April, Public Health England’s website said people could go outside for their daily exercise - even if they had coronavirus symptoms:

    “If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others”, it said.

    However, on 8 April, the advice changed and people with coronavirus symptoms (or living with someone displaying them) were limited to taking exercise in their homes and gardens: “If you feel well enough you can take part in light exercise within your home or garden,” it said.

    There was another change on 9 April, in which gardens were removed from the exercise advice: “any exercise should be taken within your home”, it said.

    Mr Cummings didn’t specify when the walk took place but he said it was in the second week – so one can assume it was between 4 and 11 April.

  4. SNP: No option but to sack Cummings

    The leader of the SNP in Westminster has called Dominic Cummings' press conference a "botched PR exercise that changes nothing".

    Ian Blackford MP says it is "now beyond doubt" the chief adviser to the PM "broke multiple lockdown rules", and criticises Mr Cummings for not apologising.

    He adds: "The prime minister has no option but to sack Mr Cummings. His failure to do so so far is a gross failure of leadership.

    "Boris Johnson's failure to show leadership is damaging the public health message and putting lives at risk, as leading public health experts have warned.

    "The longer the prime minister allows this farce to continue the more the Tory government will lose credibility and respect."

  5. BreakingUK death toll reaches 36,914

    The number of people who have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus has now reached 36,914.

    The figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show a further 121 people have died in the past 24 hours.

    UK coronavirus statistics
  6. Cummings should not resign - Baroness Morgan

    Baroness Morgan served in Boris Johnson's cabinet

    This has not been a "fine moment" for Dominic Cummings but he should not resign, Baroness Morgan has told the BBC.

    "There will be a time for investigating all of this and many other things in months to come," Baroness Morgan, who served in Boris Johnson's cabinet as culture secretary told Radio 4's PM.

    "For some people it will never be enough and they will want a resignation. I just don't think, at the height of the crisis when we need good people around, that is the right way to be looking at it."

  7. Labour: British people wanted an apology

    Labour says "the British people were looking for at least an apology from Dominic Cummings during his press conference, but "they got none".

    A spokesman for the party says millions of people "have made extraordinary sacrifices during the lockdown", with some families "forced apart, sometimes in the most tragic of circumstances".

    He adds: "They stayed at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

    “And yet, the message from this government is clear: it’s one rule for Boris Johnson’s closest adviser, another for everybody else.”

  8. Analysis: Changing minds is another matter

    Vicki Young

    Chief Political Correspondent

    That press conference was something I am sure Dominic Cummings would have hated having to do.

    But the fact he has had to explain himself is recognition he knows there is a problem.

    It was striking that, overall, he said he had no regrets.

    He also hasn't considering resigning and he accused the media of fuelling anger - although a lot of what was in the public domain has been confirmed in that statement.

    But Mr Cummings said his actions were reasonable and the core of this is him saying people have to use common sense when it comes to the guidelines.

    A lot of people watching this may accept he wasn't breaking the law, but may well think they have been interpreting the rules far more strictly.

    Mr Cummings talked about exceptional circumstances, but many may also think we are in those circumstances as well.

    There are still some issues here - particularly the other trip he made to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight, which may raise eyebrows,

    He may win plaudits for being so open and going out there. But whether it is changing minds is another matter, and ultimately, the prime minister's opinion is the only one that matters.

  9. Sir Ed Davey: PM must act now on Cummings

    BBC News

    Ed Davey

    The acting leader of the Liberal Democrats says Dominic Cummings' press conference "made the situation worse".

    Sir Ed Davey told BBC News: "There was no apology, he said he did not regret anything, he said he went driving to test his eyesight... come on."

    He adds: "Millions of people who made huge sacrifices will actually be deeply worried, saying the chief adviser did break the rules, and asking questions about that.

    "They will be pretty angry."

    Now "the prime minister has to decide what to do", he says, adding that is "a question of his judgement".

    Sir Ed says: "If the prime minister doesn't act now, he is frankly not fit to lead the country in this crisis."

  10. Dominic Cummings statement in full

    Addressing members of the press in the garden of No 10, Dominic Cummings said he "did not regret" what he did.

    He said he faced a "tricky situation" with childcare but believed he "behaved reasonably".

    Mr Cummings also confirmed he drove 30 miles from Durham to Barnard Castle, but said he did so in order to test his eyesight ahead of a drive back to London.

    Watch his statement in full here.

    Video content

    Video caption: Dominic Cummings: Full statement on lockdown row
  11. Analysis: Less bravado than you might expect

    Jonathan Blake

    BBC political correspondent

    For most people outside of government, and for some inside it, this is the most we’ve ever seen and heard of Dominic Cummings.

    He cuts an unassuming figure; sitting behind a fold-up table wearing an open shirt speaking calmly and relatively quietly.

    There was less bravado than you might expect - in recent days we saw Mr Cummings waving away photographers outside his home and telling reporters “it’s not about what you guys think”.

    He mentioned writing last year about the dangers of coronaviruses, perhaps an example of his apparent enthusiasm for “super forecasting” and predicting future events.

    There was criticism of the media and what he claimed to be inaccurate reporting of his actions.

    But time and again, in the face of sustained questioning, he said he didn’t regret taking his wife and child to Durham during lockdown, or taking them on a test-drive before he returned to London.

    Whether he has helped or hindered his own standing and that of the government’s will depend on the judgement of individuals.

    And whether he keeps his job? As Mr Cummings himself said, “It’s up to the Prime Minister”.

  12. Cummings press conference concludes

    After an hour-long news conference, the statement and questioning of Dominic Cummings comes to an end.

    Dominic Cummings
  13. Cummings: It was safest place to be

    Asked whether it was a case of being in a "privileged position" and that "one rule for most" people did not apply to him, Mr Cummings says: "I don't think that's the case. The reason I went to that place was it seemed like the safest option."

    "The point about it wasn't that it was some nice place to be. If you'd been there you'd see that it's sort of concrete blocks," he says. "The point about it was not that it was a nice place to be but it was the safest place to be in the circumstances."

    Video content

    Video caption: Cummings drove to Barnard Castle to test vision
  14. BreakingCummings: Up to PM if I stay

    Asked if he will leave if the controversy continues to detract from the government, he says it is "up to the prime minister".

    "I am here to do the best I can for the government and change the country for the better."

  15. Cummings wants a line drawn

    Mr Cummings explains that because of the confusion surrounding his trip, "the PM, I and others thought only thing to do now is come out and discuss it and lay the whole thing out".

    He says he hopes people will understand now that they had heard "what happened in a very complicated situation".

    "I behaved reasonably and tried to minimise risks."

    He admits that people may be thinking they would have done things differently and "perhaps they are right".

    "I am not saying I know I am right. I am saying this is why I did it at the time."

  16. Cummings: Worried about confusion

    The next reporter asks why Mr Cummings wasn't "honest with the public before now".

    He says there has been "a long string of inaccurate stories about me for month after month after month, and the truth is answering a lot of these things doesn't clear up confusion - it frequently leads to more confusion".

    The adviser says he has been "really worried about the whole thing", and admits that "in retrospect, it would have been better to set this out earlier".

    But he adds: "We have to make judgements about these things in No 10 and our judgement at the time is it would lead to more confusion."

  17. Staying in London worse - Cummings

    Dominic Cummings says driving with a "full tank of petrol" to an "isolated" location, with his nieces who could have looked after his child if necessary nearby, was the "safest thing in the circumstances".

    "If I'd stayed in London and a similar thing had happened, I'd have had to get someone else there and expose them to danger," he says.

    He says he did not fill up with petrol on the way to County Durham, but is "pretty sure we called in and filled up" on the way back.

    "But remember at this point I'd been cleared to drive back to work, so I don't think in any way that's breaking the rules," he says.

  18. Reality Check

    What does the law say on leaving your main home?

    Dominic Cummings defended his actions, saying: “The legal rules do not cover all circumstances including those that I found myself in”. So, what do they say?

    The law that police were enforcing at the time Mr Cummings drove to Durham is the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020.

    It says: “During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.” It then lists a series of reasonable excuses:

    To obtain basic necessities like food or medicine; to take exercise; to seek medical assistance; to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person; to donate blood; to travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services; to attend a funeral of a household member or close family member; to access critical public services; for access arrangements with a child who does not live with one or both parents; for a religious minister to visit their place of worship; to move house where reasonably necessary; to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm.

    It’s important to stress that, before the list, it says “a reasonable excuse includes the need”.

    So the list is not exhaustive - a reasonable excuse might arguably be something that is not on it. It is also important to make a distinction between the law and the guidelines drawn up by the government.