UK lockdown: Police officer calls on public to ‘do their bit’
On Sunday Mr Johnson was spotted exercising at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, seven miles away from Downing Street. It has also been claimed the Prime Minister is continuing to exercise in the gardens of Buckingham Palace following an invitation to do so by the Queen last summer.
Coronavirus rules state the public must remain local and should not travel to exercise.
People in England are also banned from visiting others’ private gardens as part of the lockdown restrictions introduced at the start of the month.
The Prime Minister’s weekend trip to Stratford sparked backlash last night with Mr Johnson accused of failing to follow the spirit of his own rules.
Over the weekend two women were handed fines for travelling five miles to exercise, although the fixed term penalties have since been rescinded.
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In a move likely to lead to increased outrage, Allegra Stratton, the Prime Minister’s press secretary, said this afternoon that Mr Johnson would continue to ride his bike.
She said: “He will probably be doing bike rides again.
“You all know how much he loves his bike and we are encouraging everybody, including the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet, to exercise daily.
“It’s incredibly important to keep healthy.
“In terms of the bike ride on Sunday, the Prime Minister acted in accordance with the guidance at all times.”
No10 has refused to clarify if the Conservative Party leader was driven to the park for if he rode there on his bike.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said she did not believe the trip was against the law but the public should not travel for exercise.
She said people should go for exercise “from your front door and come back to your front door”.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary also refused to clarify whether Mr Johnson has been using Buckingham Palace to exercise.
She said: “I can’t comment on where the Prime Minister exercises for security reasons.
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“It’s always been the case and it needs to remain the case.
“We need to protect the Prime Minister.”
Critics of Mr Johnson have seized upon the bike ride to bash the Tory leader.
Labour MP for Hammersmith Andy Slaughter accused Mr Johnson of failing to set an example.
He said: “Once again it is do as I say, not as I do, from the Prime Minister.”
“London has some of the highest infection rates in the country.
“Boris Johnson should be leading by example.”
The row over the Prime Minister’s actions comes after his most senior adviser broke lockdown rules last spring by travelling from London to County Durham while he had coronavirus.
Mr Cummings dismissed calls for him to resign at the time and said he believed he acted “legally and reasonably”.
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