THE chief argument put forward so far to explain Dominic Cummings’ decision to drive his wife and young son to Durham from London is that he feared he would have no childcare if the couple became incapacitated through coronavirus.

While the safeguarding clause in the Government’s guidance has been used to justify this behaviour, it is clear that most other people were not looking through the small print while making choices for their own families. They were sticking to the slogan which was front and centre at every press briefing – stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.

That debate will run and run, but what emerged today during Mr Cummings’ remarkable statement, was that the journey to Barnard Castle did indeed take place, and he said that far from being a day trip – the type most of us would have loved during the long weeks of lockdown – it was to test his eyesight to see if it was up to the drive back to London following his illness.

Surely, this ludicrous explanation calls into question his supposed-strategic brilliance. The trip was clearly not within the guidelines, no matter how much you squint at potential get-out clauses, and he should face the same consequences as anyone else breaching the lockdown.