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Witness who claimed to have seen Cummings return to Durham AGAIN ‘made it up as a joke’

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Meanwhile, it has been revealed that one of the witnesses to the first visit may have made a similar long-distance trip. According to the Mail on Sunday, the retired Chemistry teacher drove from his home in Barnard Castle to pick up his daughter who had been self-isolating at her boyfriend’s home in Berkshire. The daughter was seen at the family home last week, but the father insists he complied with relevant rules at the time.

Meanwhile, the newspaper claimed the man who witnessed the alleged second visit said he had doctored details on an app used by runners to record routes and times.

By doing this, he made it look he had seen Mr Cummings six days after the Prime Minister’s Senior Advisor returned to London.

It has also been reported Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top, a Labour peer, passed on information to help expose Mr Cummings’ trips.

Mr Cummings went to his parents’ property in Durham when he was supposed to be self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms.

He has since said he made the trip to ensure his son could be looked after by his parents if he and wife became too ill.

It is understood they stayed in a separate building on Mr Cummings’ parent’s property.

Baroness Armstrong, who was a minister under Tony Blair, received reports six weeks ago that Mr Cummings was in the Durham area.

The peeress was North West Durham MP during her time in the lower chamber.

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One Tory MP said: “As a former key member of Labour’s north-east mafia and a Remainer to her fingertips, Hilary would have grabbed at any chance to take Dominic Cummings down.”

The peeress herself has played down any allegations her actions were motivated by political revenge.

Stating simply that she “could not believe that he would have put public safety in jeopardy”.

She added: “There were rumours going around in Durham about Mr Cummings being there and I passed that on.”

North West Durham was one of the seats in Labour’s “red wall” which fell to the Tories at the December election.

Labour MP Laura Pidcock, regarded as Corbynista, saw a 13.3 percent drop in her vote share.

Tory Richard Holden saw an increase of 7.5 percent and won the seat with a 1,144 vote majority.

Earlier this month, political blog Guido Fawkes reported Ms Pidcock was preparing to contest the Lanchester ward on Durham County Council in 2021.

Ms Pidcock was previously on the Northumbria County Council but lost her seat to a Tory candidate in 2017.

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