AN MP has explained why he travelled from London to the North-East by train after displaying coronavirus symptoms.

Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, revealed he had travelled from London in March to self-isolate at home in a statement on social media on Saturday.

The Northern Echo asked Mr Gibson to explain the circumstances further after a reader got in touch to say they were "completely shocked" by his statement.

Mr Gibson said he first came down with a cough on March 1, before the lockdown, while working in parliament.

He said: “I was coughing for a period of about an hour. I became concerned that I might have the virus so I contacted the MPs coronavirus helpline. I explained my symptoms and the advice given was I should isolate for a period of seven days.

"I said I’m in London, I don’t have accommodation, I’m staying in the spare room of a friend’s flat. What am I going to do?

"I was advised if my normal mode of transport was the train I should use that but should isolate and keep myself to myself, which is what I did.

"I came home and self-isolated in my house, away from other members of the household, eating alone, using a separate bathroom. I did that for seven days.

"After that I re-integrated myself into the household. I didn’t go anywhere other than walking the dog, alone, while isolating.

"Some people will say I should have stayed in London but where was I supposed to stay? Was I meant to move into a hotel? Was I supposed to go back to the flat of another MP when I had nothing apart from a couple of changes of clothes? Did I run the risk of potentially infecting the friend whose flat it was?"

Mr Gibson, who said his coronavirus symptoms were "short-lived" is currently staying in Thirsk while repairs are made to his home in Darlington and is working from home.