Jeremy Corbyn apologises for breaching 'rule of six' at dinner party

Labour shadow health minister calls for former leader to be fined

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Thursday 01 October 2020 13:15
Comments
Jeremy Corbyn may be liable to a fine
Jeremy Corbyn may be liable to a fine

Jeremy Corbyn has apologised after he was photographed breaking the government's coronavirus "rule of six".

The former Labour leader was photographed at a dinner party with eight other people including the photographer – potentially setting himself up for a £200 fine.

It comes after Boris Johnson and other government ministers were unable to answer basic questions about the rules they had brought in - with critics saying they were too complicated.

Mr Corbyn told The Sun newspaper, which published a photograph of the event: “I recently had dinner at a friend’s house where the number of guests eventually exceeded five.

"I understand that remaining at the dinner was a breach of the rule of six. I apologise for my mistake.”

Labour shadow health minister Rosena Allin-Khan said the former party leader should be fined.

"I'm disappointed. I'm glad that Jeremy Corbyn has apologised, it is absolutely inexcusable for people to break the rules, the rules apply to everyone," she said, adding: "He rightly should be paying the fine".

Meanwhile Boris Johnson’s father Stanley Johnson has said he is “extremely sorry” after he was pictured in a shop without a mask, also breaking the rules.

The former Tory MEP said he did not know the rules because he had been away from the UK and described his actions as a “slip up”. Not wearing a mask is also punishable by a fine.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said it was “for the police to determine what action to take” in relation to alleged breaches by individuals such as Mr Corbyn or Mr Johnson Sr.

Asked whether either should face censure, the spokesman said: “The prime minister is clear that the rules apply to everyone and everyone should follow them.”

Mr Corbyn stood down as leader of the opposition in early April to be replaced by Sir Keir Starmer. He remains a Labour MP, sitting on the backbenches. 

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