Policing minister Kit Malthouse has denied Boris Johnson broke coronavirus restrictions over the weekend by exercising at Stratford Olympic Park.
Johnson was spotted cycling at Queen Elizabeth Park on Sunday, which is located seven miles away from Downing Street, prompting accusations he broke government guidance.
Current official government advice says exercise should be limited to once a day and within your local area.
A Downing Street source said the prime minister was exercising within the rules but would not give further details as to whether Johnson cycled from his Westminster residence or was transported there by car.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Malthouse appeared to defend Johnson’s jaunt across the capital.
Asked if the thought the prime minister had broken the rule on exercising within your local area, Malthouse said: “Well, it depends where you are. Seven miles will be local in different areas.
“I think the key thing is that when people do go out, they maintain that social distancing, they go out for the purpose of exercise, or to get food, rather than trying to stretch the rules.”
Malthouse listed scenarios in which buying a takeaway coffee would be allowed, as he said people need to use their “common sense” when following lockdown rules.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “If you’re getting coffee on your way to do exercise, or as part of your acquiring food, or one of those reasons you’re allowed to be out of the house, then that is legitimate.
“This is one of those Scotch egg moments, where it’s very hard for us legislators to legislate for every single nuance of human behaviour.
“What we are relying on is people having a common sense of themselves of what they think is appropriate.”
It comes after two women were handed £200 fines for driving five miles to a beauty spot near their homes in Derbyshire to go for a walk.