CABINET member Michael Gove gave an answer so ridiculous this morning that he himself could hardly keep it together.

Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster was asked about Dominic Cummings’s claim that he drove 30 minutes from his Durham home to tourist spot Barnard Castle to test his vision was working properly before travelling all the way back to London.

The adviser’s claim during yesterday’s press conference drew a LOT of scrutiny.

Gove spent his morning running around the broadcast media programmes attempting to salvage whatever particles of credibility the UK Government has left after putting all their efforts into defending Cummings’s lockdown trip to the north east.

But he couldn’t even convince himself with some of the explanations.

Ferrari asked: “Would you have gone a 60-mile round trip to test your eyesight?”

Gove replied: “Um, er, I have on occasions in the past driven with my wife in order to make sure that, er, what’s the right way of putting it …”

Ferrari couldn’t believe what the Tory MP had told him. “I’m staggered, I don’t know how you’re going to get out of this one but it’s going to be fun.”

Gove laughed and added: “I think people who know me would know I’m not an authority on driving, and I’m not the best person in the world to ask detailed questions about driving.

Ferrari pushed again: “I’m merely asking you if you’ve ever been on a 60-mile round trip to test your eyesight and you said you had! Why not go to Specsavers?”

Gove then decided he hadn’t actual driven 60 miles to test his eyesight before. He said: “What? No. The point I was seeking to make is I’m not an authority on driving as somebody who took seven attempts to pass their driving test.”

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On Twitter, Gove was one of the top trending topics following the car-crash exchange. Piers Morgan wrote: “Michael Gove is trending No1 in the UK. It’s because nobody believes a word he’s saying. So many cabinet ministers are destroying their own reputations at the altar of saving a lying, hypocrite adviser. Quite extraordinary.”

Meanwhile LBC producer Ava-Santina said the exchange was “beyond parody”.

James Felton wrote: “Highest rates of confirmed deaths in the world and these idiots have put themselves in the position where they have to go around all the TV studios defending driving 30 miles with your kid in the car as a f****** eye exam.”

Gove seems to have been using gasoline rather than water in his attempts to put out the Cummings fire, because all afternoon an increasing number of Tory MPs have demanded the adviser’s resignation.