Yesterday, Dominic Cummings, sought to defend his decision to drive to County Durham despite the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, saying he believes he behaved “reasonably” and does not regret his actions.

In a highly unusual press conference in the rose garden of 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser said he made the journey because of fears over a lack of childcare if he became incapacitated with Covid-19, but also concerns about his family’s safety.

Mr Cummings said stories suggested he had opposed lockdown and “did not care about many deaths”, but he told reporters: “The truth is that I had argued for lockdown.

“I did not oppose it, but these stories had created a very bad atmosphere around my home, I was subjected to threats of violence, people came to my house shouting threats, there were posts on social media encouraging attacks.”

In other coronavirus news:

  • From June 1, outdoor markets and car showrooms will be allowed to open, provided they can do so safely. Boris Johnson said: "We know that the transmission of the virus is lower outdoors and that it is easier to follow Covid secure guidelines in open spaces." From June 15, "all other non-essential retail" will be allowed to reopen, contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus and if the businesses are "covid secure".
  • A member of the Government's advisory group on behavioural science said the "debacle" over Dominic Cummings has "fatally undermined" efforts to fight coronavirus. Professor Stephen Reicher told Good Morning Britain: "If you look at the research it shows the reason why people observed lockdown was not for themselves, it wasn't because they were personally at risk, they did it for the community, they did it because of a sense of 'we're all in this together'. If you give the impression there's one rule for them and one rule for us you fatally undermine that sense of 'we're all in this together' and you undermine adherence to the forms of behaviour which have got us through this crisis."
  • Boris Johnson's attempts to get Britain back on track after coronavirus threaten to be overshadowed by the continued fallout over Dominic Cummings' lockdown trip. The Prime Minister chose to front the daily Downing Street Covid-19 briefing to publicly back Mr Cummings on Sunday, saying he had "acted responsibly, legally and with integrity" by driving 260 miles to County Durham to isolate and that "any parent would frankly understand what he did".
  • Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said it is his "understanding" from the Prime Minister that Dominic Cummings and his family did not break the law in their trip to Durham during lockdown. He told BBC Breakfast: "(The Prime Minister) has been absolutely categorically assured that both Dominic Cummings and his family both followed the guidance and also followed the rules... The guidance is incredibly extensive and at the heart of that guidance is always the issue of safeguarding children and making sure that children are always absolutely protected. My understanding is from what the Prime Minister said yesterday... is that at every stage Dominic Cummings followed and his family followed the guidance and at no stage did Dominic Cummings or his family break the law."
  • Gavin Williamson said the reopening of schools was "one of the most difficult decisions that I've probably ever had to take". He said: "I know that there's such an importance in terms of children being able to get their education."
  • Conservative MP David Warburton said his own father died alone as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, and that the Dominic Cummings story gives an impression of "double standards". He told BBC Breakfast: "People have made sacrifices, this is a difficult time, this is a time of national crisis. In those sacrifices there really hasn't been the choice to use instinct. Instinct hasn't really been part of it. We've been tasked with following regulations laid down by the Government."
  • A hospital in Somerset has temporarily stopped accepting new patients due to a "high number of patients with coronavirus in the hospital". Weston General Hospital, in Weston-super-Mare, stopped accepting new admissions, including into its A&E department, from 8am on Monday. The move is said to be a "precautionary measure".
  • Communities in Yorkshire and the Humber have been awarded a £27m boost to build for the future.
  • Speaking at a press conference today, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she hoped Boris Johnson would reflect on his decision to back Dominic Cummings and "come to a different conclusion".
  • A TV antiques expert has become swept up in the Dominic Cummings drama after he was ­­­­­­­­­­­­­mistaken for someone called Dominic around the time of the reports. Barnard Castle shop owner and Bargain Hunt star, David Harper Tweeted: “I was mistaken for someone called Dominic a few weeks ago, when doing work on my shop in Barnard it makes sense.” Many have since called out similarities between the two and fear the reports could be false and a case of mistaken identity.
  • A further ­­­­three coronavirus patients have died in the North-East and North Yorkshire, latest figures confirm.
  • The number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Northern Ireland has risen to 514 after eight more deaths were reported by the Department of Health. The department also reported a further 39 cases of confirmed Covid-19, bringing the total number of positive cases in Northern Ireland to 4,609. The number of people tested for the virus over the last 24 hours was 1,084.
  • NHS England has announced 59 new deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 25,750.
  • Durham Police released a statement regarding the Dominic Cummings controversy: "Following significant public interest over the last few days, Durham Constabulary wish to add the following to our statement of Saturday, May 23rd. We can confirm that on April 1, an officer from Durham Constabulary spoke to the father of Dominic Cummings. Mr Cummings confirmed that his son, his son’s wife and child were present at the property. He told the officer that his son and son’s wife were displaying symptoms of coronavirus and were self-isolating in part of the property. We can further confirm that our officer gave no specific advice on coronavirus to any members of the family and that Durham Constabulary deemed that no further action was required in that regard. Our officer did, however, provide the family with advice on security issues."
  • Hardwick Festival have announced that the event is to be postponed until next year. On a Facebook post they said: "We are extremely disappointed to announce the postponement of Hardwick Festival 2020 to next year 20th-22nd August 2021."
  • A pupil at a Darlington school has tested positive for coronavirus. A spokesman for Skerne Park Academy in Darlington said: "We can confirm that a child who has been accessing school provision at Skerne Park Academy has tested positive for coronavirus today. The child’s parents have also tested positive."