Brexiteer Tory MP says he washed hands while singing national anthem to stop himself getting coronavirus

Routine follows advice from health secretary Matt Hancock

Rory Sullivan
Monday 02 March 2020 13:31 GMT
Cabinet arrives for emergency meeting on Coronavirus

A Brexiteer Tory MP has said he washed his hands while singing the national anthem to avoid contracting coronavirus, following advice offered by the health secretary.

Andrew Selous, the MP for South West Bedfordshire, said he cleaned his hands to “the first verse of the national anthem”.

Mr Selous’s tweet on Monday comes after health secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC that members of the public should wash their hands while reciting the first verse of the song to ensure they did so for the recommended “20 seconds or more”.

Mr Hancock also told Sky News: “We’re telling children that you’ve got to wash your hands whilst you sing Happy Birthday to make sure that gets through very simply.”

The minister also denied ruling out the prospect of shutting down entire cities - as has happened in China - if the UK’s coronavirus outbreak worsens.

The shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth sought clarity from the government on its position, saying Mr Hancock should update MPs on plans on Monday.

Meanwhile, Paul Cosford, Public Health England’s emeritus medical director, warned that the UK would likely experience more widespread infection “fairly soon”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in