THE Bishop of Worcester has condemned Dominic Cummings for not making the same sacrifices as other families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bishop John Inge took the unusual step of wading into the political debate about the Prime Minister's chief adviser travelling to County Durham with his family, calling it 'a matter of life and death'.

In making the comments he joined a chorus of people in Worcester, including former West Mercia Chief Constable Paul West and a city mum battling cancer, who have publicly criticised the Prime Minister's chief adviser - and Boris Johnson for backing him.

Mr Cummings travelled 260 miles with his family in March to be near relatives at a family farm in the North East when his wife developed Covid-19 symptoms as calls mount for his resignation.

He said he made the journey to self-isolate with his family - apparently because he feared that he and his wife would be left unable to care for their son - while official guidelines warned against long-distance journeys.

Further reports also suggested he took a second trip to the North East in April, having already returned to London following his recovery from Covid-19 - a disease which has seen more than 45,000 people in the UK die after contracting it.

Boris Johnson insists his aide acted legally and within guidelines - but critics say the government's lockdown message has been undermined.

The Prime Minister said on Sunday: "I think he followed the instincts of every father and every parent and I do not mark him down for that."

John Inge, the Bishop of Worcester, wrote on Twitter: "The PM tells us that Cummings ‘followed the instincts of every father’ and that he ‘does not mark him down for that’.

"The point is that thousands and thousands of parents, including me, have not been able to follow their instincts because they felt they had to obey the rules.

"The PM’s risible defence of Cummings is an insult to all those who have made such sacrifices to ensure the safety of others."

Speaking to the Worcester News yesterday he said: “I don’t normally comment on politics, certainly not on party politics, but this matter is not party political. Great concern has been expressed across the spectrum.

“This is actually a matter life and death. If senior Government officials do not appear to follow their own instructions then we shall all be at greater risk.

"Trust will be eroded and people will not feel inclined to follow Government instructions at all. That will mean more deaths from this horrible virus.”

Paul West, former chief constable at West Mercia Police, wrote: "Speaking as someone who, in the past, has taken young children back to beautiful Durham City to see their grandparents, I can assure Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock that driving up there is not something that one does by 'instinct' - it takes a good deal of planning."