A would-be MP has branded his political opponent's defence of Dominic Cummings as "stomach-churning" - prompting her to admit she would not have made the same decision as the Prime Minister's aide.

Green Party's Jack Lenox, who stood as a candidate for Copeland in 2019, hit out at the area's Tory MP Trudy Harrison over Mr Cumming's trip to Durham during the lockdown.

Mrs Harrison had previously said that Mr Cumming's "exceptional circumstance" had "afforded his own justification for travel."

In an open letter to Mrs Harrison, Mr Lenox said: "Watching you and your colleagues fecklessly attempt to make it sound as though Dominic Cummings has acted with valour and decency has been one of the most stomach-churning and sickening things I have ever witnessed.

"You have treated the British public with contempt and have lost all credibility in the process. I no longer believe your Government has my best interests, or those of my compatriots, as its top priority."

Mr Lenox believes that if everyone had adopted Mr Cumming's interpretation of the rules, "there would have scarcely been a lockdown," branding his actions as reckless.

But Mrs Harrison has hit back at the comments and admitted she would not have behaved like Mr Cummings.

"This is politics at its lowest. The Police have now confirmed that no action will be taken and the Prime Minister made his decision that the particular circumstances which led to the exemption to the guidelines was justified, in the same way that Jenny Harries [Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England]explained to the nation the rationale for exceptions at a press conference back in March.

"I do agree however, that things could and should have been more transparent, and would also go so far as to say that I would not have made those same decisions.

"When people ask why should they now follow the Government’s guidelines, my response is quite simply because this is how we will beat this awful virus - and that must be the priority of each and every one of us."