Jacob Rees-Mogg has caused outrage after crossing coronavirus tiers to attend a Latin mass in Somerset.
The Commons leader – a devout Catholic – was seen leaving his West Harptree house in a Tier 3 area to attend church 15 minutes away in Glastonbury, which was under Tier 4 restrictions.
Although people in Tier 4 can attend mass, the government’s own guidance urges people not to travel from one tier to another, and keep social contact to a minimum.
Glastonbury writer Liz Williams told the Mirror: “A number of people are very cross about this, while not as egregious as what Dominic Cummings did, he is still crossing from tier 3 to tier 4 just to go to mass, which we are told not to do.
“I think the anger in town is the fact that not only is this not essential, even though he may argue differently as a Christian, but that he is actually a member of the government that is setting this policy.
“It just seems yet again like there is one rule for us and one rule for the rest of them. Look I am not a Christian, I am not a Tory, I am just a normal upstanding member of the community who is fed up of this hypocritical approach from the people that are setting these rules.”
Father Bede Rowe, of St Mary’s church in Glastonbury, admitted that Rees-Mogg had attended the afternoon Latin mass on Sunday – but refused to be drawn on whether it was appropriate for the politician to have travelled to the service.
Another Glastonbury resident, who attended the service with Rees-Mogg, said: “Does the leader of the House of Commons really need to cross tiers to go to a Latin mass though?
“I don’t know why he would have chosen to be there on Sunday, I don’t know why he considered it important enough to completely ignore all the guidance his own people are putting out there.
“Recently we had a lot of revellers in town during the Winter Solstice and they raised a lot of eyebrows and got a lot of hostility because they were ignoring the regulations and the bottom line is people are responding the same to him on this as they did with them.”
A spokesman for Rees-Mogg said: “The leader of the House regularly attends the only old rite mass available in the Clifton diocese which meets his religious obligations.”