A number of MPs from across the south are condemning the Prime Minister for backing his chief adviser Dominic Cummings, who's accused of breaking the Government's own lockdown guidelines.

Boris Johnson is facing a revolt from within his own party as MPs from across the political spectrum line up to condemn both Cummings, and the PM's defence of his actions.

Mr Cummings travelled to County Durham in March to self-isolate with his family while official guidelines warned against long-distance journeys, apparently because he feared that he and his wife would be left unable to care for their son. Further reports also suggested he took a second trip to the North East in April.

Mr Johnson fronted Downing Street’s coronavirus briefing to back Mr Cummings, saying he had “acted responsibly, legally and with integrity” and that “any parent would frankly understand what he did”.

Dissent has come from inside Tory party ranks, with veteran Conservative Sir Roger Gale, the MP for North Thanet, expressing his disappointment: "I think it was an opportunity to put this to bed and I fear that now the story is simply going to run and run."

  • Sir Roger Gale adds his voice to the debate. WATCH Paul Brand's report:

In a Facebook post, East Shoreham and Worthing MP Tim Loughton said: "It is with regret that I have come to the conclusion that the position of Dominic Cummings is untenable as the chief adviser to the Government and he must resign or be removed."

MP for Poole, Sir Robert Syms, said that the furore surrounding Mr Cummings' actions was detracting from the Government message, and he had to go:

MP for North Dorset Simon Hoare, who had already called for Mr Cummings to go, later lamented Mr Johnson’s press conference, telling the Daily Mail: “The PM’s performance posed more questions than it answered. Any residual hope that this might die away in the next 24 hours is lost.”

And the MP for Folkestone and Hythe, Damian Collins, said the government would be better off without Dominic Cummings:

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