Thursday, 11 June 2020

Martin Redston wants a Judicial Review of DPP's failure to bring Dominic Cummings to account

Dominic Cummings running from Downing Street

Martin Redston, who many readers will know from the Save Willesden Green Library campaign has his sights on Dominic Cummings. Martin has launched a crowdfunder to finance legal action over the Director of Public Prosecutions' failure to hold Dominic Cummings to account. Cumming failed to comply with government instructions over Covid19. Martin is instructing well known QC Michael Mansfied.

Coverage of the move in the Guardian LINK

This is what Martin wrote on his fundraising page:

Who am I?
My name is Martin Redston and I am bringing judicial review proceedings against the Director of Public Prosecutions for his failure to properly consider the actions of Dominic Cummings, the chief advisor to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in relation to a potential breach of Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020/350.

I, like many other citizens, have fully complied with the Government’s lockdown requirements at all times. Despite the police and the public having been made aware of Mr. Cummings’ potential breaches of the rules since 22nd May 2020, there has been no investigation into those potential breaches in London.

Why does this matter?

The rule of law should apply for all persons, irrespective of any friendships in government. The public health measures which were put in place to protect us must be applied to everyone, including in particular those who helped to make the rules. A number of individuals in public office who have flouted those strict rules have resigned. That provided some accountability for breach of the law by those who are central to the public health message and the need to encourage full compliance. In respect of Mr. Cummings, however, representatives of the Government have taken to social media in support of him. The Attorney-General has tweeted in support of Mr. Cummings’ actions. This raises a real concern over the state’s obligation properly and fairly to investigate the case of Mr Cummings where a law officer has prejudged it by issuing a peremptory statement that sought to exculpate Mr Cummings, without due process of the law.

Dominic Cummings left London on 27th March and travelled approximately 260 miles north to Durham in a car together with his wife and child. At the relevant time the law required all persons to remain at home save for limited prescribed purposes. The journey would take 5 hours or so, not allowing for breaks and stops on the way.

On the same day, 27th March, and before leaving London, Mr. Cummings had left work and gone home to see to his wife, and then returned to work in the afternoon, despite his wife exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19. Mr. Cummings subsequently, together with his wife and four year old child, also took an unnecessary car journey to Barnard’s Castle which, he has said, was in order to test his eyesight while driving, in preparation for a longer journey back to London.

Since these events three months has passed, and there has been no indication that any state authority, including the DPP, shall inquire into the matters relating to the London breaches. Indeed there have been some very quick indications that no inquiry would follow from the briefest of possible considerations by some state bodies. By 22nd May it was known to the public and the police that Mr. Cummings had potentially breached the regulations. Since then there has been no due consideration of accountability for Mr. Cummings’ actions in London on 27th March.

Ultimately Mr. Cummings then held a press conference on 25th May ending with the following words: “I know the British people hate the idea of unfairness. I wanted to explain what I thought, what I did and why, over this period, because I think that people like me who helped to make the rules should be accountable for their actions.”

At that juncture police were already in possession of the fact that Mr. Cummings had left his house in London twice on 27th March 2020.

I have instructed lawyers to assist me with this matter: Michael Mansfield QC, who is leading counsel Philip Rule, instructed by Lorna Hackett at Hackett & Dabbs LLP.

What are we trying to achieve?

Last Wednesday, 3rd June, my lawyers wrote to the Director of Public Prosecutions expressing concern that no action had been taken in relation to the alleged breaches by this public figure in London. This inaction may result in the loss of additional evidence which could otherwise be gathered by prompt investigation. This in turn could lead to the serious loss of public confidence in the accountability of government employees. There is a current public health emergency, and I am alarmed at the inactivity over the actions of Mr. Cummings which could be contributing to breaches of the lockdown rules at a time when this will cost lives.

Despite setting a deadline for substantive reply that has now passed, the only response was by email on 8th June 2020 wherein the DPP notified my lawyers that “This has now been passed to colleagues in our Special Crime Division, who will provide a response to you in due course.” This reply does not suggest that any investigation has been instigated, otherwise they would have said so.

When further urgent confirmation was sought that there was any active consideration taking place, it was met by silence. We, the public, must be at the forefront of the seeking of a just process in this case to restore public confidence.

What you can do to help

We need to raise £30,000 as an initial target to enable the case to proceed. Please do contribute whatever you can to ensure that the DPP complies with his legal obligations and share as far and wide as you can on social media to enable me to meet the target needed to lodge proceedings in court. I am deeply grateful to you for reading my crowd funding page. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

The Attorney General is not just a Law Officer. According to the Government's website, she also has the following responsibilities:

'The Attorney General is chief legal adviser to the Crown and has a number of independent public interest functions, as well as overseeing the Law Officers’ departments. These are:

the Crown Prosecution Service
the Serious Fraud Office
Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate
the Government Legal Department'

In other words, she's the DPP's boss!!!

Anonymous said...

What is this money for? If the lawyers had any integrity, they would take the case pro bono. I can't think of a more fatuous exercise (notwithstanding the idiotic actions of Mr Cummings) when time could be better spent supporting the NHS, charities etc. during this difficult time.