Conservative MP Douglas Ross has resigned as Under Secretary of State for Scotland over Dominic Cummings alleged breaking of coronavirus lockdown rules.
He is the first government minister to quit over the row that has engulfed Downing Street over the past several days.
Mr Ross tweeted: ‘I haven’t commented publicly on the situation with Dominic Cummings as I have waited to hear the full details. I welcome the statement to clarify matters, but there remains aspects of the explanation which I have trouble with. As a result I have resigned as a government Minister.’
Mr Cummings was accused of breaking lockdown rules he helped make after it emerged he travelled from London to his parents home in Durham when his wife fell ill with suspected coronavirus in March.
The prime minister’s chief adviser has refused to step down over the allegations, admitting he never considered resigning and he doesn’t regret his actions.
Speaking from the Downing Street rose garden in a highly unusual press conference on Monday afternoon, Mr Cummings remained defiant as he defended his 260 mile trip, which he said he made out of fear of becoming ill himself and needing childcare for his four-year-old son.
Mr Ross, a junior minister, said Mr Cummings’ view on lockdown guidance was ‘not shared by the majority’.
He said as a father himself he would have stayed at home if he and his wife had caught the virus.
His resignation comes as Boris Johnson is coming under increasing pressure to fire Mr Cummings, although the PM has so far given his full support to his chief aide.
This is a breaking news story. More to follow