Durham County Council boss Simon Henig has asked senior officers to find a way to force Dominic Cummings to pay tens of thousands of pounds of backdated council tax.

Lancashire Telegraph sister title, The Northern Echo, exclusively reports that “two properties, including the Mr Cummings’ notorious ‘lockdown cottage’, at the family farm near Durham, were built in breach of planning regulations and are now liable for council tax”, and that senior officers have been instructed to “find a way” to force him to pay up.

It previously emerged that council tax charges on two properties owned by Dominic Cummings will not be backdated to when the homes were built, giving the government adviser the equivalent to a "30k tax break".

Councillor Simon Henig told the paper: “It seems that anyone working for the Prime Minister is exempt from the rules that apply to the rest of us.

“I have asked that all options to appeal this decision be considered.”

According to the paper, an investigation by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) found that the charges at North Lodge Farm, off the A167, which amount to around £3,000 a year, would not be backdated to 2002 when Mr Cummings carried out the conversion.

Earlier this year Mr Cummings was accused of being “above the law” when he was found to have travelled in breach of lockdown rules whilst showing coronavirus symptoms.

The Prime Minister’s senior adviser drove from London to Durham to isolate with his family during the lockdown, and subsequently took a trip to Barnard Castle to see if he was fit enough to drive before returning to the capital.

Today, the Northern Echo reports that Cllr Henig said he was acting out of a sense of “fairness” after the VOA's decision.

According to the paper, Cllr Henig requested that chief officers look into all possible options for an appeal of the national decision and has said that the VOA ruling should be justified in Parliament.

Cllr Henig added: “As a party that is committed to fairness, as soon as we were aware of a potential breach in regulations at North Lodge, council officers were instructed to investigate the matter.

“In turn, Durham County Council alerted the Valuation Office Agency, which provided details of the required changes in respect to property.

“However, while there have been historical breaches of planning and building control regulation, which date back to the time of the former Durham City Council, the current council was unable to take enforcement action due to the amount of time that had elapsed.

“People will want to know how, once again, the Government’s senior adviser is avoiding facing any consequences for breaching a set of regulations to which everyone else is expected to adhere.”

Furthermore, it is imperative that the Valuation Office Agency be made accountable for this decision in Parliament so that public confidence in the council tax system be maintained.”

The VOA, which is part of HM Revenue and Customs, said in a statement to the Northern Echo: “We treat all council taxpayers equally and in accordance with the law.

“Changes to show multiple self-contained units would not be backdated.

“If the property has remained in your ownership during the period when any changes were made there would not typically be backdated liabilities.”