A columnist has said Boris Johnson is incapable of “denying himself any pleasures” after he was spotted cycling seven miles away from his home for daily exercise.
Current official government advice says exercise should be limited to once a day and within your local area, prompting accusations Johnson had broken coronavirus rules when he cycled around Olympic Park in east London on Sunday afternoon.
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.
The prime minister is being accused of hypocrisy for travelling so far after imposing sweeping coronavirus regulations on others.
Speaking with the LBC’s Nick Ferrari, The New European contributor Zoe Williams said: “His entire message at the moment, his whole guiding light, everything that comes out of his mouth is don’t push at the rules, don’t try and make it work for you, try and make it work for the whole country.
“He’s like a baby. All he has to do is deny himself a pleasure for a couple of weeks in order to role model incredibly compliant behaviour.
“That’s all he has to do and he can’t do it because he just can’t control his own impulses.
“And I think we’re kind of seeing what it’s like to be governed by somebody who has no impulse control and it’s a bit scary.”
Ferrari argued that Johnson had indeed not broken any rules and needed to cycle for his mental and physical health.
Williams said the prime minister was in a position of authority and if he wanted others to follow the guidance to a tee then he had a job of doing the same.
In response to public criticism, a Downing Street source told the BBC: “The PM has exercised within the Covid rules and any suggestion to the contrary is wrong.”
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has also insisted the prime minister did not break the law with his bike ride seven miles from his home.
Meanwhile, policing minister Kit Malthouse denied Johnson had broken any rules.
Asked if the thought the prime minister had broken the rule on exercising within your local area, Malthouse told the BBC: “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.”