Government doing everything it can to follow its own coronavirus rules, insists Gove
- Credit: PA
Michael Gove has refuted claims from some scientists that Boris Johnson was flouting coronavirus guidance before he got infected by COVID-19.
Cabinet office minister Michael Gove was asked whether the government was sending out clear messages on social-distancing, on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme.
It follows both prime minister Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock testing positive for the virus and Scottish secretary Alister Jack developing mild symptoms.
This is on top of England's chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty also self-isolating with symptoms.
Gove said: 'We've been doing everything we can to observe that advice and it's certainly the case that within the House of Commons people were seeking to maintain an appropriate distance from one another.'
Johnson has been accused of failing to follow his own social distancing rules, after his key lieutenants followed him into self-isolation.
You may also want to watch:
The prime minister sat next to Jack as he took Scottish questions at the despatch box in the Commons on Wednesday.
Hancock was on the Scottish secretary's other side on the front bench as they gathered ahead of Prime Minister's Questions.
- 1 Who's on the BBC's Question Time tonight?
- 2 Tory MP says policies no longer match 'principles on which millions have backed us'
- 3 Tory MP blames 'chaotic parents' for children going to school hungry
- 4 Liz Truss to deliver speech rejecting 'Britain First' strategy ahead of US election
- 5 More approve of EU leadership than Boris Johnson's premiership, poll finds
- 6 Brexit shambles: A stress of our own making
- 7 Minister self-isolates just a day after being spotted flouting mask rules
- 8 Boris Johnson 'hid in bedroom' to avoid grilling on Brexit stance days before becoming PM
- 9 Tory minister's claim over free school meals funding gets quickly debunked
- 10 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
Gove told Andrew Marr that parliament was now in recess and that the speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, would be reviewing 'the best way of making sure that politicians remain accountable but at the same time that we respect the rules that limit the spread of disease'.
There have been concerns that other key figures could be affected by the virus.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak was with the prime minister shortly before he tested positive, while cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill was also with Johnson, Hancock and Prof Whitty at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Neither the chancellor nor Sir Mark had displayed symptoms by Friday night so they had not been tested and were not in isolation.
Business secretary Alok Sharma previously insisted there were 'no gaps ingovernment' despite cabinet members entering self-isolation.
Gove said that he and the prime minister have been using video technology to chair official meetings.
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.