GUY Opperman has broken his silence on the controversy the Conservative Party is facing over the Prime Minister’s chief adviser.

In a blog post published on Thursday afternoon, Hexham's MP said he supported Boris Johnson's decision to back Dominic Cummings despite heightened criticism from the public and Conservative MPs. 

The Hexham MP said he had received a significant level of correspondence as a result of the media coverage surrounding Mr Cummings' visit to Durham. 

"As always, views are mixed ranging from those who are very critical and upset at his actions, to those who are empathetic to what he did in the circumstances that applied to his child," Mr Opperman said. 

"I stress that I always try and take on board what constituents say, even where those views differ, and convey that strength to senior colleagues. Many want instant judgments and Twitter responses. 

"However, rather than make an immediate comment on the situation based on press reports, I wanted to wait for Mr Cummings to explain what happened in his own words and write in more detail."

In a press conference on Monday, Mr Cummings defended a 260-mile trip from London to the North-East of England he made with his family during lockdown, explaining that he believed he behaved “reasonably”.

Hexham's MP added: "Having listened to Mr Cummings’ press conference, he clearly feels that he acted reasonably in the circumstances that applied at the time as they grappled with their illness, and does not intend to offer his resignation. 

"This is not to understate the efforts and sacrifices that all of us have made to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe in this very difficult time. 

"In my view, the key issue Mr Cummings and his wife clearly grappled with in this situation, is the assessment of child welfare. Should they have both been incapacitated as a result of coronavirus at the same time, their child would have been extremely vulnerable. 

"The regulations on social distancing in place, at the time, made clear that you can leave your home provided you have a reasonable excuse."

Commenting on the news that the Prime Minister accepted Mr Cummings' account of the events, Mr Opperman said: "I accept this approach and support the Prime Minister’s decision."

Earlier this week, retired local GP Dr Kate Menage pleaded with Mr Opperman not to support his actions and call for his resignation in a letter shared on social media. 

“It is important – important for people who have sacrificed so much to try and do the right thing,” she said, referencing the lockdown rules that the public have followed and Mr Cummings allegedly broke.

Also in his blog, Mr Opperman said he and his small team had helped "many hundreds" of constituents navigate the lockdown.

Mr Opperman was approached by the Hexham Courant on Wednesday, to comment on the issue, but did not respond.