TORY councillors in East Sussex have largely backed Dominic Cummings over his controversial lockdown trip despite the huge backlash he has received over his actions.

Boris Johnson’s chief adviser said he acted reasonably and legally by driving  his family 260 miles from his home in London to County Durham in late March.

He said he was worried he and his wife would not be able to look after their four-year-old son if they both came down with coronavirus and so he wanted to be near his parents.

During that stay, Mr Cummings made a journey to nearby Barnard Castle.

He said this was to test his eyesight was fine before making the long trip back to London.

The Argus: Boris Johnson's adviser Dominic Cummings

Politicians across the spectrum have called on Mr Cummings to resign but when Conservative district and borough councillors across East Sussex were surveyed, those who responded signalled strong support for Mr Cummings and his actions.

They were also asked what they thought about Mr Cummings’ actions, the decision to keep him in post and if they had any concerns about the episode affecting the public’s adherence to social distancing and lockdown guidelines.

Bob Standley, leader of Wealden District Council, said the decision on Mr Cummings’ position was the Prime Minister’s alone, and felt residents in Wealden had in general followed the social distancing guidance and he was sure this  would continue as the lockdown is reviewed.

Brian Redman, a Wealden councillor for Mayfield and Five Ashes, felt Mr Cummings’ actions were correct for the benefit of his child and also agreed with the decision to keep him in post.

He thought the public would keep social distancing if they understand it is for the benefit of their families and themselves.

Tony Ganly, a district councillor for Northern Rother, said he would have done the same as Mr Cummings in those circumstances except for the 30-mile drive to check his vision.

He added: “On another subject, I believe ‘stay at home’ was the wrong message. Going out is not dangerous if you keep your distance.

"The message should have been ‘keep your distance’.

"This would also have made people less fearful of coming out of lockdown.”

Fellow ward member for Northern Rother, Martin Mooney added:  “He did what any right thinking parent would have done.”