Brexiteer MP Iain Duncan Smith trashes government policy on wearing face masks in shops

Brexiteer and former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith explains why he's opposed to making face covering

Brexiteer and former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith explains why he's opposed to making face coverings compulsory in public; talkRADIO, Twitter - Credit: Archant

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith has trashed the government's face mask policy by suggesting it is a waste of time.

Smith appeared on talkRADIO to discuss Downing Street's decision to make face masks compulsory in shops and supermarkets across England from July 24.

The Brexit-backing Tory MP questioned the efficacy of the decision, telling radio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer: 'The thing about making things compulsory is that there will be a lot of people who will not want to do this.

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'The second thing is, if you call it compulsory, then who is going to enforce that?'

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Smith went on to suggest that police in his constituency were too busy with other crimes to spend time in front of shops imposing fines on people not covering up.

MORE: Tory minister denies face mask announcement ends government's faith in 'British people's common sense'

'That's going to be your big problem. If you say it's compulsory but you're unable to enforce it people are going to say 'I don't care I'm not going to do it',' he said urging ministers to let shop keepers have the final say on who wears face masks.

'If it's the rule of the shop, you should abide by that because the shop then has the right to send you out.

'But the idea we make it a national programme means the police has to enforce it and that is an area which I don't think they'll be very pleased about and [be] unable to do.'

Twitter users were baffled with the Brexiteer's comments.

One wrote: posted: '@MPIainDS seems to believe that it's fair game to break the law if you think you can get away with it.

MORE: James O'Brien suggests government's confusing messaging over face coverings could be deliberate

'I wonder what other laws he thinks this applies to?'

@Danecek300 said: 'Show me someone against wearing face masks and 99 times out of a hundred I'll show you a hard Brexiteer.'

Sheila McKenzie shared: 'Does he [IDS] advocate the same approach to wearing a seat belt when travelling in a car or drinking & driving [?]'

'Might as well abolish speed limits on roads then,' tweeted Mat Greener.

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