A COUNTY Durham MP has hit out at the Prime Minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings after council tax worth up to £50,000 for two properties built without planning permission was written off.

The political strategist, and his family, are liable to pay council tax for properties on their farm, near Durham, but the charges will not be backdated to when two properties were built in breach of planning laws.

The decision was taken by the Valuation Office Agency after the matter was referred to them by Durham County Council.

Labour MP for Easington Grahame Morris said he has been contacted by several constituents angry at what he describes as ‘special treatment’ for the Prime Minister’s right-hand man.

Mr Morris has also raised concerns with the Valuation Office Agency.

He said: “Dominic Cummings is above the law and feels he can do whatever he wants with impunity. Unfortunately, the evidence suggests he is correct, when public bodies, the police and the Prime Minister, the highest authority in the land, refuses to hold him accountable.”

The issue came to light after the national spotlight was shone on the family property when Mr Cummings and his wife came to the from London while suffering from Covid-19 symptoms.

Mr Morris said: “The man making decisions about the rules and laws that affect our lives has broken the Covid regulations, drove a car to test his eyesight, concealed the building of two properties without planning permission, and has had his council tax written off.

“Mr Cummings is in a privileged position, where paying council tax is an optional extra.

“If people living in my constituency evaded paying their council tax for eighteen years, they would be pursued and hounded by enforcement agencies demanding money by menaces at their front door, otherwise, it would be the police arresting them.

“When it comes to following the law, there are only two tiers, the one that applies to us, the public, and the other that applies to the government and friends of the Prime Minister.”

The Cummings family has refused to comment on the issue when approached by the Northern Echo. The Valuation Office Agency has said the matter will have dealt with within current legislation, while the Taxpayers’ Alliance has said reform is needed.

May Foy, Labour MP for Durham City, has said she was surprised the tax was not being backdated.

The Northern Echo has approached two Conservative County Durham MPs, Richard Holden, and Dehenna Davison, for comments but they have not responded.