Prue Leith has sparked criticism after coming to the defence of Dominic Cummings.
The Great British Bake Off judge, 80, called for a “bit of kindness and tolerance” for Boris Johnson’s top adviser.
When her son, Conservative MP Danny Kruger, wrote on Twitter that Mr Cummings should not be attacked for making decisions over concern “for a child”, Leith wrote: “Well said, Danny. How about a bit of kindness and tolerance?”
Mr Cummings travelled more than 260 miles to Durham in the north east of England, to be near his family, while official guidelines warned against long-distance journeys.
He is now facing fresh allegations of breaking lockdown rules more than once.
Mr Kruger had posted: “Dom and Mary’s journey was necessary and therefore within rules. What’s also necessary is not attacking a man and his family for decisions taken at a time of great stress and worry, the fear of death and concern for a child.
“This isn’t a story for the normal political shitkickery.”
Leith’s response drew a flurry of criticism on Twitter.
Derry Girls actress Siobhan McSweeney wrote: “This is the wrong take on this. People have sacrificed so, so much….
“Saying this disrespects that sacrifice…. Cummings did the wrong thing. End of.”
Mollie Goodfellow wrote: “I haven’t seen my family in 10 weeks plus because I’ve been following the guidelines and laws and assumed at least the government were doing the same.”
Gayle Letherby wrote: “Cummings made the rules. We kept them. He broke them. Scandalous.”
Another follower wrote: “Too many of us have observed the lockdown and suffered horribly. My mother was cremated alone with no-one in attendance.”
Mr Kruger later tweeted: “Am hating the abuse I’m getting on here for sticking up for the Cummings’s.
“But they are old friends and here goes again: They’re human beings with a small child and made a decision in an emergency. PM is satisfied. Hope we can get back to discussing the recovery now. (Fond hope).”