TORY minister Robert Jenrick has been told to “fully explain himself” after he was caught driving to one of his three homes.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary - who has been one of the government’s most prominent voices during the coronavirus lockdown - defended his decision not to stay at home. 

The Daily Mail revealed that he travelled 150 miles from his London property, where he stayed at the start of the lockdown, to his £1.2m Herefordshire home. 

While the Guardian said the minister had then made a 40-mile trip to visit his elderly parents in Shropshire.

Just two weeks ago he had told Sky News: “The advice today is very clear: we need to stay at home all bar the most essential activities, and by doing that we’ll protect the NHS and help to save lives.

"I know it’s Mother’s Day and I know it’s tough and it goes against everything that we want to do as a family, but don’t go and see your mum.

"Give her a phone call, Skype her, FaceTime her, tell her that you love her and that we’re going to get through this together.”

Taking to Twitter last night Jenrick said he had gone to his parents to deliver food and medicine to his parents.

He tweeted: “For clarity - my parents asked me to deliver some essentials - including medicines.

“They are both self-isolating due to age and my father's medical condition and I respected social distancing rules.”

Defending moving to his Herefordshire property, he told the Mail that his family considered it the family home.

The MP told the Daily Mail: “My house in Herefordshire is the place I, my wife and my young children consider to be our family home and my family were there before any restrictions on travel were announced.

“I have been working in London on ministerial duties, putting in place the system to shield the group most vulnerable to coronavirus and organising the response at a local level.

“Once I was able to work from home it was right that I went home to do so and be with my wife and also help care for my three young children.

“By staying at home, we protect the NHS and help save lives. I will be staying at my family home until Government advice changes or if I am needed in person in Westminster before the parliamentary session resumes after the Easter recess.”

However, Jenrick’s website says he lives with his family near Newark in his constituency.

According to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority website, the MP claims the £2,000 monthly rent for that property on his expenses. 

Asked whether he thought Jenrick was ignoring the government’s stay at home advice, Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think that’s for him to explain.

"As you know, the delivery of essential supplies like food and medicine to vulnerable people, vulnerable family members, would be permissible in the exceptions that there are for people to go outside.

“But I think it’s very important now for public confidence that Robert Jenrick fully explains himself and why exactly that journey was necessary.”

The former Tory minister Anna Soubry, tweeted:“The selfish arrogance of 2 trips #RobertJenrick telling cramped families in inner city high rises or squeezed suburban homes to #StayAtHome is bad enough but justifying it by asserting he didn’t break the rules is shameful. Snr Ministers must practise what they preach.”

She added: “#RobertJenrick didn’t break #COVIDー19 rules but he totally ignored his own instruction to #StayHome which he repeatedly said in media interviews & from the No 10 podium. It smacks of arrogance. For some time many of us have said Govt messaging must be clear, consistent & honest.”

Last weekend, Catherine Calderwood, the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland resigned after she was photographed visiting her second home with her family. The country’s top doctor, who fronted the public health campaign urging Scots to stay at home, admitted that she had visited the house twice.

New Zealand's health minister was demoted after taking his family to the beach during the lockdown.