REDDITCH MP Rachel Maclean says Dominic Cummings' lockdown journey could have been explained "much sooner" after residents called on her to share her stance on the issue.

In a statement, the MP says she is "disappointed" the actions of Boris Johnson's top aide - who travelled 260 miles to Durham under lockdown - have become a "distraction from the Government's message".

Rachel Maclean said: “I have taken time to look at this important issue and take in all of the detail over the last few days. I listened to Dominic Cummings’ statement on Monday and I welcome his decision to explain himself – although this could have happened much sooner than it did.

"I have never met Mr Cummings personally but every individual should have the chance to explain their actions and it is not for me, the media or the general public to pass judgement without knowing the full facts.

“I do admit this situation is not helping the Government in its response to coronavirus. It is a distraction from the Government’s message and the work it is doing, and it is because of this that I am disappointed.

“However, it is clear that the published guidance sets out exceptional circumstances that play a part in protecting a vulnerable individual, in this case a young child. In saying this, I am mindful also of Mr Cummings' stated concerns about the security of his family."

Mr Cummings said at a press conference at Downing Street yesterday he had no intention of resigning after he travelled 260 miles with his family in March to be near relatives at a family farm in the North East when his wife became ill and he feared he could be struck down with Covid-19.

He made the journey to self-isolate with his family - apparently because he feared that he and his wife would be left unable to care for their son - while official guidelines warned against long-distance journeys.

The aide said in retrospect he should have made the statement earlier and accepted that 'many are angry about what they have seen in the media about my actions''

He said he had not spoken to the Prime Minister about his family's decision to travel to Durham.

Boris Johnson insists his aide acted legally and within guidelines - but critics say the government's lockdown message has been undermined.

Rachel Maclean added: “I know many constituents feel angry and concerned about what is perceived to be a lack of fair play at the heart of this controversy. And many will disagree with my assessment of the situation. There has been a huge amount of misreporting in the media which has compounded many concerns.

"All constituents who have contacted me with a variety of views will have their views conveyed to Government.

"However I believe it is right to now draw a line under this and move on the important task of easing the lockdown proportionately while protecting the health of the nation.

“My priority throughout this crisis has been to support my constituents as much as possible and this work continues.”