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Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings travelled 260 miles from London to his family home in County Durham during lockdown. Police have confirmed they attended a property in Durham after it emerged Mr Cummings, stayed with relatives while he and members of his immediate family, including wife Mary Wakefield, were suffering from coronavirus-related symptoms.

The sightings raise questions about the Government’s commitment to the “stay at home” message it was repeating to the public in the first stage of the lockdown.

No 10 has defended the move saying “it was essential for Mr Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.”

Downing Street added Mr Cummings believed he “behaved reasonably and legally” when travelling from his London home to Country Durham during the lockdown”.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.

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“His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to but separate from his extended family in case their help was needed.

“His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside. At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported.

“His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.”

Members of the cabinet have also lined up to defend the Prime Minister’s top aide.

Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, tweeted: “Caring for your wife and child is not a crime.”

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, also wrote on Twitter: “It’s reasonable and fair to ask for an explanation on this. And it has been provided: two parents with coronavirus, were anxiously taking care of their young child. Those now seeking to politicise it should take a long hard look in the mirror.”

Who is Mary Wakefield?

Ms Wakefield is a journalist, columnist and commissioning editor for The Spectator.

She has worked at the weekly magazine The Spectator for decades, since Boris Johnson was editor, and is now commissioning editor, assistant editor from 2001 and deputy editor.

She has also written for The Sun, Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Times.

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Ms Wakefield has written in The Spectator about her experience when both she and Mr Cummings contracted COVID-19

The Prime Minister’s top aide was so badly affected by coronavirus he “should have been in hospital”, his wife has revealed.

Writing in The Spectator, Ms Wakefield described how she was stricken by the disease first and her “kind” husband had rushed home to look after her.

However, she went on, 24 hours later Mr Cummings said he felt “weird” and collapsed.

She wrote: “Day in, day out for 10 days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms.

“Just as Dom was beginning to feel better … Boris was heading in the other direction, into hospital.”

Ms Wakefield and Mr Cummings married in 2011.

How old is Dominic Cummings’ child?

Mr Cummings and Ms Wakefield’s son, named Alexander Cedd, was born in 2016.

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