A JUNIOR minister has resigned amid the backlash following Dominic Cummings's decision to drive 260 miles to County Durham during lockdown.

This morning, the Under Secretary of State for Scotland Douglas Ross said he 'could not tell his constituents that they were all wrong' and that Mr Cummings 'was right.'

In his letter of resignation, Mr Ross, who is the Conservative MP for Moray, said he 'accepted' Mr Cummings's statement but said his lockdown views were not shared 'by majority.'

The Northern Echo:

Mr Cummings is facing calls to resign following his decision to drive from London to his parents' home in Durham while strict coronavirus lockdown rules were in place.

But in the statement posted on Twitter, Mr Ross said he had constituents that "didn't get to say goodbye to loved ones" as he said he wanted to "best represent" the feeling felt by his constituents.

His statement said: "I have never met Dominic Cummings so my judgement on this matter has always been open and I accept his statement on Monday afternoon clarified the actions he took in what he felt were the best interests of his family.

"However, these were decisions many others felt were not available to him.

"As a father myself, my instinct is to always do what is best for my son and wife. We have been fortunate not to have caught this awful virus but if we did, we are prepared to follow government advice and stay at home to contain this virus."

Yesterday, Dominic Cummings said he made the 260-mile journey because of fears over a lack of childcare if he became incapacitated with coronavirus, but also concerns about his family’s safety.

At a press conference in the rose garden of 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser 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.”

But in the North-East, residents in Teesdale have reported sightings of him during the lockdown sparking fury among older people living in Barnard Castle, with many saying he should have been sacked.

One resident Richard Mulley, 75, told The Northern Echo: “He should be gone by now.

“He has been backed by Boris Johnson and that’s disgusting. I think Boris is not fit to run the country, saying he has done nothing wrong.