BORIS Johnson's most senior advisor has defended his decision to drive 260 miles from home while the government was telling people not to leave their house. 

Dominic Cummings has given a press conference at Downing Street this afternoon during which he said he did not tell the Prime Minister in advance of his trip to his parents' farm in Durham. 

Mr Cummings has also dismissed previous reports that he made a second trip to Durham after April 13 as "false".

During the conference, which started almost half an hour later than expected, he said: “I know that millions of people in this country have been suffering, thousands have died, many are angry about what they have seen in the media about my actions.

“I want to clear up the confusions and misunderstandings where I can.

“In retrospect, I should have made this statement earlier.”

He laid out the series of events which caused him to travel from his home in Islington, London, to his parents' Durham farm.

He said his wife had called him to say she felt unwell, and he was worried that “this situation would get worse” adding: “I was worried about the possibility of leaving my wife and child at home all day and often into the night while I worked in Number 10.”

“I thought the best thing to do in all the circumstances was to drive to an isolated cottage on my father’s farm."

Mr Cummings said he had not asked the Prime Minister about his decision and admitted that “arguably this was a mistake”.

He said: “I did not ask the Prime Minister about this decision. He was ill himself and he had huge problems to deal with. Every day I have to exercise my judgement about things like this and decide what to discuss with him.

“I thought that I would speak to him when the situation clarified over the coming days, including whether I had symptoms and whether there were tests available.

“Arguably this was a mistake and I understand that some will say that I should have spoken to the Prime Minister before deciding what to do.”

He also blamed the media for abuse he has suffered and for his home in London becoming a target. He said there had been inaccurate reports in the press which may have caused the public to become angry with him.

The adviser also said he had not contemlpating resigning from his role and he does not regret his decision to drive to Durham. 

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