TAUNTON Deane MP Rebecca Pow says she wants the nation to put the Dominic Cummings controversy 'behind us' - as outrage continues to grow across the country and inside the Conservative Party.

Mr Cummings, the Prime Minister's senior adviser, has admitted making a 260-mile drive to County Durham from his London home with his family, despite his wife being ill.

He said he made the trip due to concerns over childcare should he also become ill, which he did.

However, the controversy has escalated after details of a 30-mile trip to a beauty spot to 'check his eyesite' after his illness was revealed, with one Junior Minister resigning over the controversy and more than 30 Conservative MPs calling for him to resign, or for Boris Johnson to sack his most trusted aide.

Ms Pow did not call for him to go, but acknowledged the strength of feeling among constituents.

“I have received many emails from constituents in the last few days, understandably with questions and opinions relating to the situation regarding Dominic Cummings," she said.

"They display a mix of views, from support to anger and condemnation.

"I fully recognise the strength of feeling on this issue and acknowledge the serious questions some have raised about his actions when many have themselves made big sacrifices; I will respond to you all in the coming days.

"On Monday, Dominic Cummings made a detailed statement which addressed some inaccurate allegations and made clear that his driving motivation was to protect his son and he explained step-by-step the actions he took in the light of his own particular circumstances which he considered exceptional in this respect. Notwithstanding this detailed explanation, ideally it could have come much sooner.

"I hope we can now put this behind us and focus on tackling the huge challenges we are currently faced with.

"We must continue to fight this virus, prepare for measures to be eased when it is safe to do so and start to get the economy going again and this is what I shall be working on with Government."

Somerset County Gazette:
Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow with Boris Johnson

READ MORE: Somerset MP says Cummings incurred 'multiple breaches' of lockdown rules
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On Tuesday, Junior Minister Douglas Ross resigned over the affair.

In his statement, he said: “I have constituents who didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones; families who could not mourn together; people who didn’t visit sick relatives because they followed the guidance of the government.

“I cannot in good faith tell them they were all wrong and one senior adviser to the government was right.”

And fellow Somerset Conservative MP David Warburton, who represents Somerton and Frome, called for Mr Cummings to go on Monday after revealing he had lost his father during the crisis.

"We've all suffered under the regulations, there are parents not able to see children, elderly people isolated and alone - people like my own father, who died alone - relatives put off from people they love," he said.

"But what my constituents are seeing - and what I'm hearing from hundreds and hundreds of emails and letters and phone calls - is double standards, and that's really not a good look, particularly when it surrounds someone who's themselves been part of defining the rules which all the rest of us have to endure."

And in a number of snap polls produced in recent days, the affair appears to have had an impact among the general public.

One YouGov poll showed 71% of respondents said they thought Cummings had broken the rules, with 59% saying he should resign – up seven points from three days earlier - while 46% of Tory voters and 52% of leave voters also said he should quit.

And in The Times, a separate YouGov survey suggested the Conservative lead over Labour had dropped by nine points in a week.