NIGEL Huddleston, Mid-Worcestershire’s MP, says he “accepts” Dominic Cummings' explanation for his trip to Durham during lockdown.

There has been widespread criticism of Mr Cummings, the Prime Minister's chief adviser, for driving 260 miles from his London home to his parents’ farm with his child and wife. He said this was because he believed he and his wife had coronavirus and feared they would have no childcare in London if they both became too ill to look after their son. Staying on a property on his father's land in Durham, near to his sister and nieces, provided a childcare option if needed, he said. Mr Cummings also explained a trip to nearby Barnard Castle as a way of 'testing his eyesight', which had been impaired due to his illness, before embarking on the long drive back to London.'

Mr Huddleston said: “I have received many emails from constituents relating to Mr Cummings and his recent actions, containing a wide range of views and opinions. Dominic Cummings set out his account of what happened and made it clear that he believes he did not flout social distancing rules at any point and he explained that he was concerned that he and his wife would not be able to look after their young son if they were about to be badly affected by coronavirus - and therefore they drove to Durham to be near his family.

“At a Downing Street press conference (on March 24), the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said parents who are ill and may not be able to look after a child created ‘exceptional circumstances’ where family members could be called upon to help. Clearly Mr Cummings believes that his circumstances were exceptional and does not believe he broke the government’s guidelines.

“While I and others may accept this interpretation, I recognise that others may not.”

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin said Mr Cummings should resign.