Nazir Afzal says:
“The big divide was never between leave and remain, nor black and white, nor men and women, nor north and south. It’s between those with power and those without. The power differential is the greatest cause of inequality.
“So when I witnessed the Prime Minister and others wrapping a shield around Dominic Cummings I was horrified. I watched him get the privilege of a press conference in the garden at 10 Downing Street when any other civil servant (& whether he likes it or not, that’s what he is, if only temporarily) would be denied even the ability to issue a press release on pain of discipline or worse.
“I read how he and his wife wrote about their experience of Covid19 to elicit sympathy for their predicament (one experienced by 1000s of others including my late brother) without telling us that he had breached the regulations that were in place to protect every one of us, by taking the disease to Durham, at a time when London was drowning in Covid whilst the North East wasn’t. Worse, he helped draft the regulations!
“I saw when he dismissed his trip to Barnard Castle (a place I know well) as a “sightseeing” exercise, giving new meaning to the word. The fact that it was his wife’s birthday being brushed away as a coincidence.
“My experience tells me that there have to be consequences for law breaking otherwise the public lose confidence in those meant to enforce the law, and lose trust in the law itself. Is it a coincidence that thousands of our fellow citizens looked at what he did and how he was allowed to avoid justice and decided that they, too, wouldn’t comply? Is it even more of a coincidence that the Prime Minister altered the regulations prematurely to put us all at more risk almost immediately afterwards?
“I have instructed Mike Schwarz of solicitors Hodge Jones & Allen and Counsel Matthew Ryder QC of Matrix chambers on behalf of all of us who want to get to the bottom of what happened, and why. To better understand what the police in Durham and London knew and what drove the decision making.
“Anybody that knows me, knows that I am relentless in my pursuit of the facts and the truth.
“If those facts support a prosecution and the Police & CPS choose not to pursue one, then I will have to consider one. A prosecution on behalf of every citizen whose goodwill and generosity led them to make painful sacrifices in order to comply with the law and protect their fellow Briton. The law is to be applied equally and fairly to all, or to nobody. It needs to act, as I hope I have done throughout my career, without fear or favour.”
Nazir Afzal OBE
Former Chief Prosecutor & Chief Executive of the Police & Crime Commissioner
Statement by Mike Schwarz of Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
“We are pursuing two serious concerns at the moment.
“Durham police appear to have failed to follow up significant allegations about breaches of the Coronavirus regulations by Dominic Cummings while in Durham. Further, neither Durham police’s Chief Constable nor the Police Crime Commissioner have responded to complaints put forward by Durham’s last MP on behalf of the public.
“Similarly, the Metropolitan Police do not appear to have investigated properly, promptly or at all, allegations serious allegations about Dominic Cummings’ behaviour in London and elsewhere. Nor have they responded to the complaints made by members of public about his misconduct.
“The public’s continued sense of injustice, frustration and anger can only begin to be addressed if there is openness and rigour on the part of the police. Otherwise the perception remains and mounts that there is one rule for ordinary citizens and another for those in Government.
“Nazir Afzal, with his background in public prosecutions and having lost a close relative to Covid, feels he has personal responsibility to ensure that justice is done and seen to be done.”
Mike Schwarz | Partner | Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
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