The high-profile names who have breached Covid-19 restrictions

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Celebrities, Government officials and scientists are among those who have been caught breaching lockdown restrictions over the past year.

While some apologised and even resigned from their positions for breaking the rules, others attempted to defend their actions.

Here are some of the high-profile names who have been accused of breaching coronavirus measures since the first lockdown 12 months ago.

– Dominic Cummings

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser caused public outcry when he drove from London to County Durham with his wife and son during the first lockdown in late March 2020.

Dominic Cummings resigns
The Prime Minister’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Despite calls for the aide to resign over the journey – which included a trip to local beauty spot Barnard Castle to check the quality of his eyesight – Mr Cummings was backed by the Prime Minister.

Coronavirus – Mon May 25, 2020
Mr Cummings visited Barnard Castle to test his eyesight, he claimed (Tom Wilkinson/PA)

Durham Constabulary said it would not take “retrospective action” despite finding the former adviser may have made a “minor breach” of lockdown laws.

– Professor Neil Ferguson

The scientist, whose research helped usher in the lockdown, resigned on May 5 from his role as a key Government adviser after admitting that he had undermined social distancing rules by reportedly meeting his “lover” at his home.

Scotland Yard criticised his behaviour as “plainly disappointing” but ruled out issuing a fine because he “has taken responsibility” after stepping down from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

Coronavirus – Wed Jun 10, 2020
Professor Neil Ferguson (Parliament TV/PA)

The pop star admitted breaching lockdown restrictions when she held a “small gathering” at a west London restaurant to celebrate her 30th birthday.

The incident was described as “one of the most egregious, and certainly the most notorious, breaches of the regulations committed on licensed premises”, by a lawyer representing the Metropolitan Police at a subsequent licence review hearing for the restaurant.

Rita Ora lockdown breach birthday
Rita Ora (Lauren Hurley/PA)

Model Cara Delevingne and her sister Poppy were among those who attended the party on November 28, police said.

The restaurant which hosted the party, Casa Cruz in Notting Hill, avoided having its licence revoked in February, with Kensington and Chelsea Council instead agreeing to suspend it for six weeks.

– Jack Grealish

The Aston Villa captain was banned from driving for nine months and fined a total of £82,499 after crashing his £80,000 Range Rover during the first lockdown.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to two charges, including one linked to the incident in which his 4×4 hit two parked vehicles in Dickens Heath, Solihull, West Midlands.

Jack Grealish court case
Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish (Jacob King/PA)

The England international was involved in the incident less than 24 hours after issuing a Twitter video message urging people to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

– Jeremy Corbyn

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn breached the “rule of six”, which limits the number of people in social gatherings, according to a report.

He attended a dinner with eight other people, breaking one of the tight restrictions in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, The Sun newspaper said.

Jeremy Corbyn legal action
Jeremy Corbyn (Hollie Adams/PA)

The newspaper, which claimed the dinner party took place on September 26, said Mr Corbyn had apologised.

– Dr Catherine Calderwood

Scotland’s chief medical officer resigned in April 2020 after twice breaking lockdown restrictions in order to visit her second home, which was located more than an hour away from her main residence in Edinburgh.

Despite Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon backing Dr Calderwood to remain in her position, she ultimately decided to relinquish her role so as not to be a “distraction” from the Government’s social-distancing message.

Dr Catherine Calderwood
Dr Catherine Calderwood (David Cheskin/PA)

The 60-year-old had the Scottish National Party whip removed after it emerged she allegedly travelled from Glasgow to the House of Commons while waiting for the results of a Covid-19 test in September last year.

It is alleged she then made the return journey after being informed she had the virus.

General Election 2019
Margaret Ferrier (Jane Barlow/PA)

She appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court in February but no plea to the charges was made. She was committed for further examination and was released on bail.

– Kay Burley

Sky News presenter Kay Burley was taken off air for six months after she broke Covid-19 rules while celebrating her 60th birthday.

Burley had previously said she was celebrating at a “Covid-compliant” restaurant and afterwards “popped into another” venue to use the bathroom on December 5.

Women in Film and TV Awards
Kay Burley (Yui Mok/PA)

The gathering was reportedly in London, which was under Tier 2 restrictions.

– Stanley Johnson

The Prime Minister’s father Stanley Johnson said he was “extremely sorry” after being pictured shopping without wearing a face covering on September 29.

He was pictured in The Daily Mirror newspaper perusing the shelves at a newsagent’s in west London, seemingly breaking the rules by not covering his mouth and nose.

Tory leadership race
Stanley Johnson (Aaron Chown/PA)

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary was forced to explain himself in April after travelling more than an hour to visit his parents despite warning people to remain at home.

Mr Jenrick was also criticised for travelling 150 miles from his London property to his Herefordshire home, from where he travelled to his parents’ home in Shropshire.

The Andrew Marr Show
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick (Yui Mok/PA)

– Stephen Kinnock

The MP for Aberavon in South Wales was publicly shamed by police after travelling to celebrate his father’s 78th birthday on March 28 last year.

His father is former Labour leader Neil Kinnock.

Stephen Kinnock (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“We all have our part to play in this, we urge you to comply with (lockdown) restrictions, they are in place to keep us all safe. Thank you.”

– Kyle Walker

The Manchester City and England full-back was forced to apologise in April after it was widely reported he held a party at his Cheshire home in a blatant violation of the nation’s lockdown measures.

The club promised that the 30-year-old would be subject to an “internal disciplinary procedure”.

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