WEST Devon borough councillor Mike Davies has quit the Conservative Party over Prime Minister’s advisor Dominic Cummings breaking lockdown rules.

Cllr Davies will now be an unaffiliated independent councillor for Okehampton North on the council leaving no party on the borough council in overall control.

Previously the council had a majority of just one Conservative.

Cllr Davies said on Tuesday that the decision had been prompted by Dominic Cummings offering neither a resignation or an apology over driving from London to County Durham with his family when his wife developed coronavirus symptoms.

He said the Prime Minister should have sacked his special advisor, after he did not tender his resignation himself on Monday.

Cllr Davies said: ‘About a week before lockdown I was very ill, I couldn’t breathe and I though I was having a heart attack. I had to see the GP and at the time it was made very clear that I should not leave the house and no one in my house should go out. Yet here is a Government advisor telling us to stay home and his wife had symptoms of coronavirus and he drove his family all the way to Durham.

‘So many people have been really suffering during the lockdown. Yet here is Dominic Cummings not even saying sorry or considering his position. It has made me realise that it is time to go.’

Mr Davies has served as a Conservative councillor on WDBC since 2015 and was re-elected in May last year at the end of his year serving as mayor of West Devon.

He is a respected figure in the local Conservative Party and his resignation from the party also means his resignation as Conservative Central Devon Constituency Association chairman.

He said his decision had been talked over with both Central Devon MP Mel Stride and leader of West Devon Borough Council Neil Jory and that both understood.

‘As I’ve stepped down and the Conservatives on the council had a majority of just one it means the council is no longer Conservative controlled. I’m a non-affiliated independent and I’m the only one.

‘Obviously I’ve spoken to Neil Jory about it, and I’m fully supportive of him, he has a difficult job at the moment

’I’ve had lots of support from party members already. I’ve known people for a long time.

‘People say it is a shame I’ve gone but that they understand my position. I’m fully supportive of Mel as an MP, he’s done a good job.

‘It hasn’t been an easy decision, but Dominic Cummings hasn’t been elected by the party and he hasn’t been elected by the people. Yet he has power to hold a press conference in the Prime Minister’s back garden ­— you wouldn’t get any MP doing that.

‘This is very much a person who is full of their own importance rather than what is the bigger picture, who thinks there is one rule for them and one for others. I think the Prime Minster should have dismissed him.’

Cllr Davies decision comes amid widespread anger from the Conservative backbenches, from MPs and the resignation of Scotland Minister Douglas Ross over the actions of Cummings.