Dominic Cummings’ father-in-law named his horse Barack because it is “half black and half white”, according to a recently resurfaced quote.
The Fieldsports News article says: “Sir Humphry Tyrrell Wakefield who owns Chillingham Castle in Northumberland is riding his horse Barack, named because the horse is half black and half white.”
A subsequent interview with the Daily Mail cast a spotlight onto baronet’s life. It read:
“Earlier this month, he set out on Barack (‘I called him that because he is black and white), a 14-year-old half Friesian gelding, to walk, trot and canter the journey of around 900 miles, while simultaneously dictating his extraordinarily colourful memoirs (for his long-suffering secretary Victoria to type up) as he rode.
“The plan was to sit back on Barack and let all my thoughts of joy, depression, failures and triumphs flow,’ he says.
“But the minute I set off I was in such a state of happiness that they all dispersed, so I just enjoyed the view.”
Later in the article he discusses his friendship with Prince Philip saying: “He is tremendous fun and such a lightener — he came for lunch the other day.”
Many on Twitter were shocked at the revelations.
Boris Johnson is standing by his chief aide Dominic Cummings despite the police saying they would have taken action if they had stopped him on his journey to Barnard Castle.
Amid mounting anger and plummeting poll ratings, Downing Street said the Prime Minister “regards this issue as closed” after Durham Constabulary said it did not intend to take “retrospective action”.
The police found that Mr Cummings may have committed “a minor breach” of coronavirus lockdown rules when he drove the 50-mile round trip to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight after it was affected by Covid-19.
However, the force said that had a police officer stopped the aide they would have “likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis”.
The force said it did not consider Mr Cummings had committed an offence by locating himself at his father’s farm in the county.
But it noted that it was concerned with breaches of the regulations, not the general Government guidance to stay at home.
In its statement, the force said: “Durham Constabulary have examined the circumstances surrounding the journey to Barnard Castle – including ANPR (automatic number plate recognition), witness evidence and a review of Mr Cummings’ press conference on 25 May 2020 – and have concluded that there might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention.
“Durham Constabulary view this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing.”
Durham’s former chief constable Mike Barton said he believed the force statement used the word “might” in relation to Mr Cummings breaking the regulations as they could not be seen to be acting as judge and jury.
Raj Chada, head of the criminal defence department and a partner at firm Hodge Jones & Allen, told the PA news agency: “I interpret this statement as them saying that there is enough evidence to say that he breached the rules (but ultimately for a court to decide) but that it is not in the public interest to prosecute for the reasons that they say.”
A Number 10 spokesman said: “The police have made clear they are taking no action against Mr Cummings over his self-isolation and that going to Durham did not breach the regulations.
“The Prime Minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances and he regards this issue as closed.”