North Hampshire MPs have thrown their support behind a government adviser who has been criticised for driving to Durham to see family.

Senior aide Dominic Cummings travelled to the county with his wife and four-year-old child after testing positive for coronavirus. 

He said he and his partner were concerned about who would look after their son if they both fell ill. 

Kit Malthouse, the member of parliament for North West Hampshire as well as the minister for policing, took to Twitter to urge the public to be "kind".

He wrote: "Every family across the country has its own particular challenges and fears to face.

"Getting sick, possibly hospitalised, as a family, individually, not knowing for how long or how severe, or what will happen to those left at home.

"It’s time for kindness over sanctimony."

Meanwhile, Ranil Jayawardena, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and the MP for North East Hampshire, retweeted words of support from a fellow politician. 

He echoed Dominic Raab's comments: "It’s reasonable and fair to ask for an explanation on this.

Andover Advertiser:

"And it has been provided: two parents with Coronavirus, were anxiously taking care of their young child. Those now seeking to politicise it should take a long hard look in the mirror."

Maria Miller, the MP for Basingstoke, however, declined to comment. 

She said: "Dominic Cummings has issued a statement explaining his actions and to which I have no further information to add.

"The police say they were aware and based on the evidence decided not to act." 

The debate around whether Mr Cummings was behaving ethically has divided opinion across the country.

According to a joint investigation by the Guardian and Daily Mirror, Mr Cummings was spotted twice in the vicinity of his parents’ home in Country Durham over the course of almost a week, between March 31 and April 5.

Downing Street had previously confirmed that Mr Cummings had started displaying coronavirus symptoms “over the weekend” of March 28-29.

Number 10, in its statement on Saturday, confirmed the 48-year-old had not yet started displaying Covid-19 symptoms when he drove to Durham, but did so in the “high likelihood” he would contract it and need childcare for his four-year-old son.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said travelling during the lockdown could be justified if there was an “extreme risk to life”.

Andover Advertiser:

Conservatives have rallied round as members of the opposition have called for Mr Cummings to resign. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, speaking at the daily Downing Street Covid-19 briefing, said: “I can tell you the PM provides Mr Cummings with his full support.”

Number 10 had already offered the former Vote Leave campaign co-ordinator its backing when putting out a statement on Saturday, stating that Mr Cummings’ actions “were in line with coronavirus guidelines”.

But Mr Shapps’ latest comments are an indication that the PM is sticking by the controversial figure, who he credited with helping secure him his landslide election victory in December.

Mr Shapps said he did not know whether Mr Johnson was aware that his chief adviser was isolating in the North East, only that the “PM knew that he was unwell and that he was in lockdown”.

The SNP has called for the Conservative Party leader to sack Mr Cummings, with the party, along with Labour and the Liberal Democrats, having written to Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill demanding an inquiry into what happened.