Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick "followed the rules" when he travelled 150 miles to his 'second' home and 40 miles to visit his parents, Downing Street declared today.

No10 said it was "confident" the Housing Secretary did not breach lockdown guidelines - despite facing questions over two separate incidents overnight.

Mr Jenrick defended escaping 150 miles from London to his £1.1million mansion in Herefordshire, saying his family are staying there.

The 38-year-old also defended a 40-mile trip from that home to visit his parents, saying he was bringing them food and medicine.

Labour ’s Shadow Communities Minister Steve Reed said: “If Robert Jenrick can’t provide a very good explanation as to why these trips were necessary then he needs to consider his position.”

But No10 today said travelling hundreds of miles from work in London to return to the family home - even if one has a home in London too - is "essential travel".

Eye Manor was purchased by Conservative politician Robert Jenrick for £1.1 million in 2009

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "I think the Secretary of State has set out in two different statements the reasons for the journeys which he made.

"We are confident he complied with the social distancing rules."

Asked to confirm No10 did not believe Mr Jenrick did anything wrong, the spokesman replied: "Correct.

"As I say, he set out the reasons for the journeys which he made and we are confident he complied with the rules."

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The case has raised the thorny issue of ministers who have homes in London - as Mr Jenrick does - but split their time between the capital and family.

Downing Street today claimed it would count as "essential travel" for ministers to travel from business in London to return to their family homes hundreds of miles away.

The PM's spokesman said: "Like everybody else, ministers have been told to work from home wherever possible, and not make unnecessary journeys.

"As part of the coronavirus response there will be occasions when ministers have no option but to work from Whitehall.

"In the event this is required, and the rest of their household is living elsewhere, it's not an unnecessary journey for them to travel to rejoin their family."

Mr Jenrick has spoken at the daily Downing Street press conferences and is key member of the Cabinet.

He spoke out warning people not to visit their families against lockdown rules, even on Mothers' Day.

On Sunday, Dr Catherine Calderwood resigned her position as Scotland's chief medical officer after she visited her holiday home twice during the coronavirus lockdown.

A source close to Mr Jenrick last night said he was living at the family home in Herefordshire and working from there after he was no longer needed in Westminster.

The cabinet minister added he and his wife Michal Berkner - a partner at City law firm Cooley LLP - and children consider the country retreat their family home.

Mr Jenrick also owns a £2.5million townhouse less than a mile from the Houses of Parliament while also renting a £2,000-a-month property in his constituency - which he bills to the taxpayer.

His official website does not mention his Grade I listed country house at all, instead saying: "Robert is married to Michal, and together they have three young daughters.

"They live in Southwell near Newark, and in London."

Asked the home address was not mentioned on Mr Jenrick's website, the Downing Street spokesman said: "Obviously that’s a question for the Secretary of State".

"The rules that apply for MPs are the same as for everybody else and we would fully expect them to exercise their common sense on not making unnecessary journeys."

This breaking news story is being updated.