Three of the county’s MPs have have supported the controversial Government advisor, Dominic Cummings, in his decision not to quit.

Workington’s MP Mark Jenkinson, Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland, and Dr Neil Hudson, who represents Penrith and the Border, have all voiced support for Mr Cummings after he explained his actions in a press conference.

However Carlisle’s MP John Stevenson, called for him to step down on Monday.

Mr Cummings flouted Covid-19 regulations by driving 260 miles from London to Durham on two occasions, claiming it was because of childcare issues and because his wife had developed Covid-19 symptoms.

The first was in late March, the second was on April 19 - Mr Cummings denies making the second trip.

He also took a trip to the Barnard Castle area, about 30 miles from Durham on April 12.

Mr Jenkinson said: “There has been a significant amount of misreporting and the statement allowed us a chance to cut through some of the more politically motivated reporting.

“It came across quite clearly that he was fearful for the safety of his wife and child.

“I would walk to the ends of the earth for my children, and should I have been placed in the same situation, I would probably have made the same judgement call.”

Mrs Harrison said: “He’s provided a detailed account of the events, with a clear and methodical approach to his decision.

“This exceptional circumstance that Dominic was faced with afforded his own justification for travel, with the care of his child being of grave concern.

“He did not break the law and the police have not taken any action.”

Dr Hudson said: “I acknowledge that he acted as a caring parent and husband trying to do the best for his family.

“I would have preferred his statement could have included an acknowledgement of the confusion and upset the perception of his actions caused and an apology could have been forthcoming.

“That said, I think we need to now move on, draw a line under the issues and move forward together.”

However, Mr Stevenson said: “When you are in power you have a higher level of responsibility, especially when you are helping to formulate policy at this difficult time.”