Cummings and his 'Brexit friends' leave when they should stay, quips EU's Tusk

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Cummings and his 'Brexit friends' leave when they should stay, quips EU's Tusk

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A senior European Union politician couldn't help a Brexit quip as he waded into Britain's row over Dominic Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top adviser and mastermind of leaving the bloc who is accused of violating coronavirus travel curbs.

Cummings refused to resign on Monday, saying he had done nothing wrong by driving 250 miles to northern England when Britain was under a strict lockdown.

"This is apparently Cummings and his Brexit friends' rule: that they leave when they should stay," Donald Tusk, currently the head of the EU's largest political family, said on Tuesday.

Tusk was a key EU figure during the tortuous Brexit negotiations until becoming the head of the centre-right EPP in late 2019.

As the chairman of EU leaders, he made no secret of his deep misgivings about Brexit and was often seen as stretching the boundaries of his official role to try to keep Britain in the union.

But on Jan. 31, 2020, Britain became the first country to ever leave the bloc.

Johnson - a leading face of the Brexit campaign - and Cummings are now keen to wrap up Britain's status-quo transition at the end of the year and take the country out of the EU orbit altogether.


(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Nick Macfie)