JAMES Daly has become the latest Conservative MP to voice his opinion on the ongoing Dominic Cummings saga- but it has been blasted by his predecessor as a "weak excuse for a statement."

The Bury North MP said that he had received a "great deal of correspondence" from constituents regarding Mr Cummings' trip to Durham, which has provoked backlash across the political spectrum.

He had travelled 260 miles there during lockdown with his family- something which Durham police say hasn't broken the law.

However, a trip to Barnard Castle may have been a "minor breach" of the regulations according to the force's latest statement.

In his statement, Mr Daly said: "Many will disagree with him and some may feel his actions as a parent were reasonable in the circumstances he faced, however rules laid down by government in these circumstances apply to everyone - no exceptions.

"Everyone has made enormous sacrifices during this unprecedented period, including here in Bury, Ramsbottom and Tottington."

Mr Daly added that, as a criminal defence solicitor for 16 years, he believes it is "imperative" that the matter is investigated fully- and that politicians shouldn't rush to judgment during the inquiry.

However, his predecessor James Frith, who Mr Daly beat in December's General Election, said that the MP had "ducked, dithered, and failed a test of leadership."

Mr Frith, who was Bury North's MP for two years, said on Twitter: "So, nearly a week late and here it is. A weak excuse for a statement from James Daly produced in the same hour the police have concluded Cummings did break the rules.

"So now due process has been served what do you say? You’ve ducked, dithered, and failed a test of leadership."

Mr Daly added in his statement: "I share many of the concerns outlined to me by numerous constituents concerning Mr Cummings' conduct, but this does not mean politicians should rush to judgement when a police inquiry is underway.

"We must ensure that comments by political and public figures do not ever run the possibility of prejudicing legal proceedings. Everyone has a right to a fair trial."