Tory MPs breach social distancing rules to hear prime minister speak at 1922 committee meeting
- Credit: Getty Images
Tory MPs have reportedly breached social distancing rules in parliament with a meeting of the 1922 committee where Boris Johnson spoke.
The prime minister has faced questions over whether he gave a speech to at least 50 Conservatives in a parliament room marked for a maximum of 29 people to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
He remarked that his colleagues were packed 'cheek by jowl' as he gave a speech to backbench MPs, the Bloomberg news agency reported attendees as saying.
You may also want to watch:
The Liberal Democrats have demanded answers over the meeting this week, warning that it could 'undermine faith' in the Government during a time of crisis.
- 1 Brexit regret: Meet the Leave voters who wish they hadn't voted Leave
- 2 Boris Johnson vows action over 'absurd' post-Brexit trading arrangements
- 3 Opposition parties push for probe into Boris Johnson's conduct following viral video
- 4 Defence minister Johnny Mercer 'trying to resign' - reports
- 5 Labour leader defends NHS after being kicked out of pub in Bath
- 6 No 10 says Johnny Mercer is 'valued' minister as it attempts to stop him resigning
- 7 Government scraps Brexit permits to enter Kent
- 8 Scottish Tory leader accused of 'nonsense' excuse for Boris Johnson avoiding Scotland
- 9 ‘I should not have listened to Cameron’ – Former European Commission president
- 10 How will you vote in the upcoming elections?
But a No 10 spokesman repeatedly refused to clarify the circumstances when pressed on whether the rules had been broken, or why Johnson had not left the room if it was too full.
'I'm not privy to the detail, it's a political event,' he said.
Asked if Johnson obeys his own social distancing rules, the spokesman replied: 'Yes.'
Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the powerful committee of backbenchers, insisted 'social distancing of one metre plus was maintained'.
But leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg was asked to carry out a 'full investigation' by Liberal Democrats who warned gatherings of more than 30 people can breach regulations.
Shadow Commons leader Wera Hobhouse said: 'Reports such as those of the 1922 Committee last night undermine faith in government and ultimately impact the effectiveness of Government public health messaging.
'We cannot allow it to look as though there is one rule for Conservative MPs and another for the rest of the country.'
In a message, Sir Graham said: 'The committee room is a workplace and social distancing of one metre plus was maintained as per Government guidance for other workplaces.
'Obviously it is important that the democratic process is not interrupted.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.