Appearing on the ITV show on Tuesday, former deputy chair of UKIP Suzanne Evans and Evening Standard journalist Ayesha Hazarika became embroiled in a heated debate over Mr Cummings’ decision to travel Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.
The row came after the Prime Minister’s top aide extensively laid out what happened during his trip north in March at a press conference in the Downing Street rose garden on Monday.
Mr Cummings’ said he had he made the journey to his family’s farm to be near relatives because he was worried he and his wife, who had experienced coronavirus symptoms, may not be able to look after their child if they both fell ill.
Mr Cummings added that before returning to London, he went on a “short drive” with his wife and child to Barnard Castle, a town about 25 miles away. He said he took the journey because he wanted to check he was safe to drive back to London after his eyesight had been affected by a suspected Covid-19 infection.
Reacting to Mr Cummings’ explanation of his actions, Ms Hazarika told GMB she felt the Government had treated Britons “like idiots” over the incident, which has prompted widespread calls for Mr Johnson’s advisor to resign or be sacked.
“Thousands and thousands of people up and down the country and thousands of people watching today will have been in just those agonising exceptions,” she said.
“It is not exceptional to be in a couple, it is not exceptional to have a four-year-old son, this is what everybody has been going through.
“But everybody else got it in their heads that they didn’t drive to be near family.”
Ms Evans defended Mr Cummings and suggested he thought he was “abiding by the law” when making the decision to travel to Durham.
“From what I can understand, there were certainly exceptions for people who were allowed to move around the country if they had severe childcare difficulties, which is what Dominic Cummings and his wife had,” Ms Evans said.
She added: “What I see here is a man who is not like thousands of the rest of us.
“I appreciate that most of us haven’t had the luxury of being able to move somewhere else or to have other people look after our children.
“But Dominic is not one of the thousands and thousands of people… he is the most important advisor to the Prime Minister in a time of obscene national crisis.
“And I see here a man who was torn between doing his job, a job that he obviously takes extremely seriously, in Parliament, and doing his job as a father.”
“He was no doubt torn between what was best for both his boss and his family.”
Several social media users were quick to react to Ms Evans’ intervention in the debate. One accused her of “defending the indefensible” while another suggested she was “talking absolute nonsense”.
Another added: “Suzanne Evans and Michael Gove have clarified this morning that Dominic is important and his circumstances are exceptional; everyone else is not important and their circumstances are unexceptional.”
Cabinet Office Minister Mr Gove separately defended Mr Cummings’ account of his journey to Durham as “exhaustive, detailed and verifiable” and described the Prime Minister’s aide as “a man of honour and integrity”.
Mr Gove told BBC Breakfast: “I think Dominic completely understands the sense of concern people felt as the story broke.
“I think the account he gave yesterday was exhaustive, it was detailed, it was verifiable. I think people will make their own mind up as they listened to Dominic’s account.”