A FORMER MP for Basildon has slammed Boris Johnson for supporting Dominic Cummings.

Baroness Angela Smith, former Basildon MP and leader of the opposition in the House of Lords, said she would sack Mr Cummings if she was in charge.

The government adviser faces allegations he breached lockdown restrictions when travelling from London to Durham.

Baroness Smith tweeted yesterday: “Am watching the Boris Johnson press conference with an increasing sense of appalled incredulity.

“The PM has avoided and evaded answering serious questions and clearly not wanting to hear any follow up questions. Truly shocking.”

The Prime Minister told the Downing Street press conference yesterday: “I have had extensive face-to-face conversations with Dominic Cummings and I have concluded that in travelling to find the right kind of childcare, at the moment when both he and his wife were about to be incapacitated by coronavirus – and when he had no alternative – I think he followed the instincts of every father and every parent.

“And I do not mark him down for that.”

Speaking this morning, Baroness Smith said: “I just can’t understand why he is still in the position, and I think it shows quite an arrogance at the heart of the government. It goes right to the core of the Prime Minister’s judgement.

“I saw someone tweeted on the Civil Service account that the government was arrogant and offensive. That’s now being investigated, but Dominic Cummings isn’t.

“If I was the Prime Minister, I would sack him.”

Matt Dent, Labour councillor in Southend, also called for Mr Cummings to be sacked.

He said: "Whilst Cummings was 'following his instincts', parents and families in Southend and across the country were following the rules.

"People have missed out on spending birthdays with loved ones, on sharing the last moments of people they've lost, of attending funerals of family members.

"But senior advisors in government are free to traipse around the country, taking the virus with them, and it's blithely defended all the way up to the Prime Minister on the grounds of 'following his instincts'. Hands up anyone who thinks the rest of us would get the same leeway?

"This isn't about politics, this is about basic fairness. The rest of us followed the rules, even when it was hard, because it was the right thing to do for the country.

"Meanwhile those in charge acted as they always do: like the rules they make don't apply to them, and like they're exempt from the consequences of their own actions. Which, it seems, they are.

"It's disgusting. Of course he should be sacked."