Boris Johnson has defended his chief adviser Dominic Cummings after reports emerged that he broke lockdown rules twice.

The Prime Minister said during his daily briefing : “ In every respect, he has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity.

“Very severe childcare difficulties presented themselves to Dominic Cummings and his family.

“Any father, any parent, would frankly understand what he did, and I certainly do, I spent a lot of time talking to him about it today.”

He added: “The guidance makes it very clear that where you have particular childcare needs that has got to be taken into account.

“I really think most people will understand what he was doing.”

Police have confirmed they attended a property in County Durham after it emerged that Mr Cummings travelled more than 260 miles in March from his London home during lockdown.

But according to reports in the Observer and Sunday Mirror, the 48-year-old later made a second trip to Durham and was seen there on April 19 – five days after being photographed on his return to Westminster.