It seems the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick – who has made broadcasts calling for us all to obey social distancing rules – thought they didn’t apply to him.
He says he visited his parents 38 miles from his own Shropshire home to deliver supplies and medication – which is allowed according to the rules.
But members of the local community have already been delivering supplies to them. He wasn’t needed.
Other people in the same situation have resigned – such as Scotland’s chief medical officer.
And New Zealand’s health minister was demoted after he flouted that country’s social distancing rules, which are stricter than ours. PM Jacinta Ardern said normally she would have sacked him but could not afford the “massive disruption” to her coronavirus response this would cause.
What will happen to Jenrick? Will he resign, be sacked or be demoted?
Let’s not kid ourselves.
He’s a Tory. He’ll apologise and carry on as normal. They all think they’re above the rules.
But here’s a thing: there’s been quite a fuss about people ignoring the social distancing rules so they could go out and enjoy the warm weather.
Even though it will worsen the crisis, they’re thinking the obvious: why should they observe the rules of the government can’t be bothered?
The cabinet minister Robert Jenrick is facing questions after travelling to visit his parents at the weekend, despite repeatedly urging the public to stay at home during the lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Guardian has established that the housing, communities and local government secretary – who has made media appearances urging people to save lives by remaining in their properties even if tempted to see loved ones – went to see his parents at their Shropshire home, 40 miles by road from his own.
A witness has told the Guardian they saw Jenrick, 38, visiting the property at the weekend.
A source close to the cabinet minister admitted that he had made the journey during lockdown conditions, but defended the trip by saying he dropped off food and medication, and did not enter the house. Jenrick later confirmed this in a tweet in which he said his parents were both self-isolating, because of age and his father’s medical condition, and he had respected social distancing rules.
Government instructions say: “You should not be visiting family members who do not live in your home.” The only exception is if they need help, such as having shopping or medication dropped off.
The Guardian understands that the local community has been supporting Jenrick’s parents by delivering groceries in recent weeks. This was not denied, though the source said Jenrick had collected and delivered medication for his parents, too.
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