A NORTH-EAST mayor has said the public will be able to "make up their own minds" on whether Dominic Cummings should have completed a 260-mile trip to County Durham.

The Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said it remained "important" that everyone adhered to the Government's guidance as he said the details of Mr Cummings's had now been laid out.

Mr Houchen, who was elected as the first Conservative Mayor of the Tees Valley, said: "It's important that everyone does their best to act in accordance with the rules and guidance the government issues to keep the country safe from the coronavirus.

"I know that concern has been expressed about Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham.

"My understanding is that he has now set out the details of his trip. The facts should now therefore be available to everyone and they can make up their own minds if they wish about the extent to which this was acceptable or not.

"I'm sure people will make their own judgements."

Mr Houchen, who said he did not have any powers over enforcing lockdown rules, said he would continue to "focus" on the work he had the responsibility for in the North-East.

He said: "I don't have any formal powers over enforcing these rules or over public health - this sits with the the police, so I am just continuing to focus on the work

"I have responsibility for; promoting the necessary information people need to control the virus, whilst working to do all I can to help local people and businesses through this difficult time.

“My sole priority is our local area and how we can come through this together and in a way that helps us achieve our plans for more jobs and prosperity for local people.

"This is what I have stuck to throughout this crisis – doing what I can to get local people and businesses through this period and not getting distracted from the big task of building a plan to make sure that Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are in the best position to bounce back from this."

Mr Houchen's comments came as several MP in the North-East responded to Mr Cummings's journey to his parent's home in Durham.

Conservative MP for Darlington, Peter Gibson said Mr Cummings had the 'confidence' of the Prime Minister and said the press conference with Mr Cummings had 'provided' answers.

Meanwhile, Labour MP for Hartlepool Mike Hill remained highly critical of the PM's response to the row and said it demonstrated a "shocking" lack of leadership.

He said: "The Prime Ministers response today to the Dominic Cummings situation demonstrated a shocking lack of leadership. People have suffered, folk have died, families have been kept apart by keeping to rules wilfully broken by the PM’s own Chief Adviser."