Theresa May has become the latest Conservative heavyweight to wade into the row over Dominic Cummings, saying he broke the 'spirit' of lockdown rules.
In a letter to her constituents in Maidenhead, the former prime minister said her successor's senior adviser 'didn't act within the spirit of the guidance' and that she 'can well understand the anger' of those who did.
Mr Cummings was accused of breaking lockdown rules after travelling from London to his parent's farm in Durham against government guidance over fears he would be struck down by coronavirus and unable to care for his son.
Theresa May has become the latest Conservative heavyweight to wade into the row over Dominic Cummings, saying he broke the 'spirit' of lockdown rules
Dominic Cummings was accused of breaking lockdown rules after travelling from London to his parent's farm in Durham against government guidance over fears he would be struck down by coronavirus
After recovering from what he says was coronavirus, the aide took a trip to a local beauty spot near Barnard Castle with his family to 'test his eyesight' before returning to London.
Durham Police said that Mr Cummings 'might' have broken the rules with the trip, but would be taking any further action.
There are now nearly 100 Tory MPs, including several ministers, who have either called for Mr Cummings to go or criticised his conduct.
Last night, Theresa May became the latest prominent Tory MP to criticise the aide.
She said: What this matter has shown is that there was a discrepancy between the simple messages given by the Government and the details of the legislation passed by Parliament.
'In these circumstances I do not feel that Mr Cummings followed the spirit of the guidance.'
His actions were met with fury from the public and politicians when they were exposed by the Daily Mirror and The Guardian.
'I can well understand the anger of those who have been abiding by the spirit of the guidance given by the Government and expect others to do so,' Mrs May added.
But she also raised concerns that the ongoing focus on Mr Cummings 'has been detracting from the most important task, which is dealing with Coronavirus and starting the process of recovery and easing lockdown.'
Durham's police chief is facing a possible inquiry into the handling of the investigation into Dominic Cummings' trip after a furious backlash from the public.
A number of complaints from Britons angry over the handling of the investigation are understood to have been made against the force's Chief Constable Jo Farrell.
The Force's professional standards department will assess the complaints before a decision is made on whether the matter should be taken further.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) will also be informed, but no referrals have yet been made, reports indicate.
A Durham Constabulary spokesman said there is 'currently' no investigation into the Force’s handling of the inquiry.