Dominic Cummings has offered an excuse for allegedly flouting lockdown rules when he drove 260 miles to his family home in Durham – despite suffering from coronavirus symptoms.
As revealed by the Mirror and the Guardian, Mr Cummings was investigated by police after the trip to stay with his family in late March, days after the lockdown was imposed placing millions under strict rules he helped to write.
Today Number 10 released a statement suggesting Mr Cummings "behaved reasonably and legally."
He repeated those words in person when a reporter suggested to him, outside his London home, that the trip to Durham did not look good.
Mr Cummings replied: "Who cares about good looks?
"It's a question of doing the right thing. It's not about what you guys think."
The statement from Downing Street said: "Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.
"His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to but separate from his extended family in case their help was needed.
"His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside.
"At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported.
"His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally."
Durham Constabulary told reporters that officers contacted the owners of a property in County Durham on March 31, more than a week after the lockdown had been imposed on March 23.
In a statement, the former head of the Police Federation in England and Wales said it was "most unwise" for the Downing Street adviser to have travelled when "known to be infected".
A Labour spokesman said: "The lockdown rules were very clear: if you or anyone in your household was suspected of having Covid-19 you must immediately self-isolate and not leave the house. However, the Prime Minister's chief adviser appears to believe that it is one rule for him and another for the British people.
"This will cause understandable anger for the millions of people who have sacrificed so much during this crisis.
"Number 10's statement also raises more questions than it answers. We are still unclear who knew about this decision and when, whether this was sanctioned by the Prime Minister and whether Number 10 is now questioning the validity of the statement from Durham Police.
"At this afternoon's press conference, we will be expecting answers to these questions."