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Kuenssberg and Peston shut down by Boris over Cummings probe – 'People need to focus!'

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Boris Johnson swiftly moved on from the topic of top aide Dominic Cummings after receiving questions from BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg and ITV’S Robert Peston during the Thursday coronavirus briefing. Ms Kuenssberg asked if Mr Cummings was setting a good example for the people of Britain after travelling during the coronavirus lockdown to which Mr Johnson refused to respond. After cutting off Ms Kuenssberg, Mr Johnson took a question from Mr Peston on whether more people were likely to break the social distancing rules due to Mr Cummings actions.

A frustrated Mr Johnson insisted that the public needed to focus on the future now as he has previously spoken on the issue of Mr Cummings.

After Ms Kuenssberg on Mr Cummings the Prime Minister said: “Laura, first of all, I have said quite a lot on this matter already.

“I intend to draw a line on the matter as I said yesterday to the Parliamentary Liaison Committee.

“I know you have also asked Chris and Patrick questions but I am going to interpose myself to protect them from an unfair and unnecessary attempt to ask them a political question.”

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Ms Kuenssberg’s mic was then cut off and the Prime Minister moved on to the next question from Mr Peston who also raised the issue of Mr Cummings. 

Mr Johnson replied: “I am going to repeat the point I made just now that our advisers are protected from being dragged into political controversies. 

“To repeat the things I have been saying, we want to get some clear and simple messages across to the British public.

“What they want to hear is what we are doing to tackle coronavirus, what the plan is.

Mr Johnson did agree to answer one of Mr Peston’s questions on the possibility of reducing the social distancing overall distance to less than 2 metres.

The Prime Minister passed the question on to Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Sir Patrick Vallance to discuss the science behind this possibility.

He said: “The evidence that we have got, that will be published, is looking at the distance that droplets travel.

“Two metres is a distance beyond things are very safe, you can see things dropping off very quickly.

“But of course, it is not absolute. What I mean is we are not saying beyond two metres is safe and closer than that is not safe.”

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