HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has said he understood the “anger that some people feel” over Dominic Cummings actions.

Mr Cummings said his decision to drive to County Durham was based not only on fears over a lack of childcare if he became incapacitated with Covid-19 but also concerns about his family's safety.

At tonight’s Downing Street press conference Mr Hancock said he believes that Mr Cummings acted within the guidelines set out by the Government.

He said: “My view is that what he did was within the guidelines.

“I can understand why reasonable people can take a different view, but my judgment, which is the same as the Prime Minister’s judgment, is that what Mr Cummings did was within the guidelines.

“After all, the guidelines allow for exceptional circumstances, particularly with regards to childcare and we’ve stated before that if you’re unable to look after a small child, that is an exceptional circumstance.”

Mr Hancock said the lockdown guidelines were drafted with “exceptional circumstances” in mind – allowing for the defence that Dominic Cummings had used.

“It is reasonable to conclude that the description of events that Mr Cummings put out yesterday was within the guidelines,” Mr Hancock said.

But he added that, “I understand that reasonable people will disagree with that and of course I understand some of the anger that boiled up over the weekend”.

At the daily Downing Street press conference the first question from the public – asked by Martin from Brighton – was about travelling for childcare, in a possible reference to the Dominic Cummings row.

“Will the Government review all penalty fines imposed on families travelling for childcare purposes during lockdown?” he asked.

Mr Hancock said: “It’s a very good question and we do understand the impact and the need for making sure that children get adequate childcare, that is one of the significant concerns that we have had all the way through this.”

Asked how Mr Cummings was different to him and his wife after testing positive, Mr Hancock told the press conference: “The relevant difference is that we had childcare readily available at home and Mr Cummings didn’t.”