The leader of Basingstoke and Deane Council has voiced his opinion on the Dominic Cummings saga.

The Prime Minister's chief adviser said his trip from London to Durham to stay at a property on his father's farm was justified to protect his family's health.

Mr Cummings also stood by a trip he and his family made to Barnard Castle on Easter Sunday, April 12, telling reporters that the 30-minute drive to the outskirts of the town was to test his eyesight in case it had been affected by the illness.

The family parked beside a river and when he felt sick they walked to the nearby riverbank where they sat for 15 minutes before returning to the car, he said.

Stopping again on the way home for a toilet break for their son, all three went "briefly" into the woods.

As a result of these actions, Boris Johnson has been hit with a ministerial resignation and faced mounting backbench anger over the decision not to fire his adviser.

In fact a poll by the Gazette which was posted on Saturday showed that among readers, nearly 800 believed Mr Cummings should resign, compared to only 450 who believed he should not.

Basingstoke Council leader Ken Rhatigan told the Gazette he sees no reason to question the actions taken by Mr Cummings.

"If he thinks he has judged the situation with integrity, then who am I to question him," the Conservative councillor said.

"If he thinks it was the right thing to do then it’s fine with me.

"If people in their heart judge themselves to think they are doing the right thing, then I am not going to judge people who have acted to help their family."

What was the Government guidance at the time?

The public should "stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible", Government advice issued on March 27 said, adding: "Do not travel unnecessarily."

Ahead of the Easter weekend, Health Secretary Matt Hancock acknowledged that the bank holiday would be a "test of the nation's resolve" but said the clear message from NHS staff battling to save sick patients was "they need you to stay at home".

Meanwhile, the Queen urged people to follow lockdown rules over Easter, saying: "By keeping apart, we keep others safe."

Much of the outrage that has been drawn in Mr Cummings' direction these past few days relates to people who have said that they have not been able to see their families or attend funerals since the lockdown began.

This is a situation close to the heart of Mr Rhatigan, who added that he has not seen his granddaughter for more than two months.

"I think if there was a need, or if I was in a dilemma about a situation regarding my family, then I would also have to make a judgement," he said.

"I’d judge for the benefit of my family then act on that judgement and most of us are like that.

"Overall I think Basingstoke has been amazing during this lockdown and the vast majority have stuck to the rules."