Dominic Cummings said he has 'no regrets' after he was caught driving 260 miles from London to Durham to self-isolate with his family.

Boris Johnson's chief aide admitted he did not check with the Prime Minister before making the trip to his parents' home on March 27.

Mr Cummings was speaking at the Rose Garden at Downing Street as he faced a grilling from journalists about the trip, which many believe went against the lockdown rules.

He said he believed in all the circumstances he behaved 'reasonably and legally'.

He denied he had broken the “spirit” of the rules and that he had not offered his resignation to the Prime Minister.

Mr Cummings said allegations he returned to Durham for a second visit after April 14 are “false”.

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“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,” he said.

“The truth is that I had argued for lockdown, I did not oppose it but these stories had created a very bad atmosphere around my home, I was subjected to threats of violence, people came to my house shouting threats, there were posts on social media encouraging attacks.”

Mr Cummings said he decided to drive up to Durham at the end of March after his wife rang him to tell him she felt unwell. She said she vomited and felt like she might pass out, he told reporters.

Mr Cummings said he was worried that “this situation would get worse” and “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 that he did not stop off at any point during the trip north.

When he arrived, he said he stayed in a cottage 50 metres away from his family.

"Obviously we kept very, very far away from them. There are various reports that I visited them, I was staying with them. That’s all completely untrue.

“My parents are in their 70s. Obviously I did not want to give them this disease. And so we stayed very far away.

Dominic Cummings has faced calls to quit

“We did have some conversations but they were on a farm and they were shouted conversations at a distance. They weren’t some of the things that have been reported.”

Mr Cummings admitted that during the trip, he went for a walk in the woods next to the cottage they were staying at which was private land.

He also said that during the trip, on April 2, his son fell unwell and was taken to hospital but he was still too ill to go with him.

He said he drove to the hospital to pick up his wife and son but did not leave the car or come into contact with anyone on the way.

Mr Cummings said that by April 11 he had sought medical advice and was told it was safe to return to work.

He said that because his eyesight had been affected by the disease his wife did not want to risk the long drive back to London so they went on a “short drive” to Barnard Castle.

He added: “My wife was very worried, particularly as my eyesight seemed to have been affected by the disease.

“She did not want to risk a nearly 300-mile drive with our child given how ill I had been.

Dominic Cummings

“We agreed that we should go for a short drive to see if I could drive safely, we drove for roughly half an hour and ended up on the outskirts of Barnard Castle town.

“We did not visit the castle, we did not walk around the town.”

Scores of MPs from Greater Manchester reacted to the briefing on social media.

Deputy leader of the Labour party and MP from Ashton Angela Rayner tweeted: "Did Dom get tips from Bill Clinton?"

She later tweeted: “This is actually painful to watch. He clearly broke the rules, the Prime Minister has failed to act in the National interest. He should have never allowed this situation with a member of his staff.”

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy posted: "Wow. He really is saying he’s too important to follow the rules."

While MP for Stalybridge, Jonathan Reynolds tweeted: "He has confirmed at least one breach of the rules and added some possible further breaches. Whatever your view on whether that’s a resignation issue, you’d think he would apologise."