DURHAM police would have sent Dominic Cummings back to his family's estate if he had been caught driving to Barnard Castle, but will not take further action against the Prime Minister's chief aide.

Officers deemed the lockdown breach to be “minor” and said they would not take retrospective action. However, the force said if he had been stopped at the time it would have "warranted police intervention". 

A statement reads: "Durham Constabulary view this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing.”

The force explain: "Had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis.

"Had this advice been accepted by Mr Cummings, no enforcement action would have been taken.

"In line with Durham Constabulary's general approach throughout the pandemic, there is no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident since this would amount to treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public. Durham Constabulary has not taken retrospective action against any other person.”

READ: Full Durham police statement on Dominic Cummings lockdown breach

The force also said there was “insufficient evidence” to show that Cummings had returned to Durham by April 19, 2020.

"Therefore Durham Constabulary will take no further action in this matter and has informed Mr Cummings of this decision,” the statement states.

READ MORE: Raging civil servant hits out Tories over defence of Dominic Cummings

Boris Johnson’s top adviser had claimed he made the Easter Sunday trip with his wife and child to test his eyesight ahead of returning to London.

He had been isolating on his father's farm in Durham, 260 miles form his London home. 

Cummings and the Prime Minister have insisted he acted “lawfully and reasonably” at all times.

A Number 10 spokesman said:  "The police have made clear they are taking no action against Mr Cummings over his self-isolation and that going to Durham did not breach the regulations.

"The Prime Minister has said he believes Mr Cummings behaved reasonably and legally given all the circumstances and he regards this issue as closed".

Durham’s former chief constable Mike Barton said he believes the force statement used the word “might” in relation to Cummings breaking the regulations as the police could not be seen to be acting as judge and jury.

He said: “It seems to me that any reasonable observer would see that Mr Cummings has not only broken the spirit of the rules, but also the letter.

“This is not Durham in the dock – they are still trying to deal with a national emergency – and this will have been an unwelcome distraction and one they have now dealt with, and they would want the public in the North East to observe the rules, unlike Mr Cummings.”

Barton added: “The police do not want to have been the judge and jury in this, not having interviewed him under caution.

“They make it clear, this is something of a minor matter in the grand scheme of things, which it is, should he not have been at the centre of the legislation.”