PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has backed his top aide Dominic Cummings over allegations he breached lockdown restrictions, saying: “He has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity”.

The Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference: “I have had extensive face-to-face conversations with Dominic Cummings and I have concluded that in travelling to find the right kind of childcare, at the moment when both he and his wife were about to be incapacitated by coronavirus – and when he had no alternative – I think he followed the instincts of every father and every parent.

“And I do not mark him down for that.”

Boris Johnson said “some” of the allegations about Dominic Cummings’ behaviour during self-isolation were “palpably false”.

“Though there have been many other allegations about what happened when he was in self-isolation and thereafter, some of them palpably false, I believe that in every respect he has acted responsibly and legally and with integrity and with the overwhelming aim of stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives.”

Mr Johnson did not deny claims that Dominic Cummings visited Barnard Castle in April.

Asked specifically about the allegation, Mr Johnson told the Downing Street press conference: “I think when you look at the guidance, when you look at the particular childcare needs that Mr Cummings faced at the time, it was reasonable of him to self-isolate as he did for 14 days or more with his family where he did.

“I think that was sensible and defensible and I understand it.

“As for all the other allegations, I just repeat what I have said earlier on: I have looked at them carefully and I am content that at all times throughout his period in isolation, actually on both sides of that period, he behaved responsibly and correctly and with a view to defeating the virus and stopping the spread.”