‘Set an example’: Sajid Javid urges Tory MPs to wear face masks in crowded Commons

Ministers ‘have all got our role to play in this’, says health secretary

Tom Batchelor
Wednesday 20 October 2021 20:38
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<p>Unmasked Cabinet ministers surrounded Boris Johnson in the Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions</p>

Unmasked Cabinet ministers surrounded Boris Johnson in the Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions

Sajid Javid has urged his Tory colleagues to wear masks in the crowded Commons chamber, saying public figures should “set an example” as Covid cases surge.

The health secretary was questioned at a Downing Street press conference over Conservative MPs seen without face coverings in parliament.

It was suggested that this could leave members of the government open to allegations they were not practicing what they preach.

Mr Javid responded: "I think that's a very fair point," adding that ministers and health leaders "have all got our role to play in this".

"We also have a role to play to set an example as private individuals as well, I think that's a very fair point and I'm sure a lot of people will have heard you," he added.

Sajid Javid said MPs have a role to play in setting an example

In recent weeks very few Tory MPs have been pictured in the Commons wearing masks, while a much greater number of opposition members do so.

Earlier on Wednesday, unmasked Cabinet ministers surrounded Boris Johnson in the Commons for Prime Minister's Questions.

At the press conference, Mr Javid said the virus was "going to hit us all" if individuals do not take part in currently voluntary measures to tackle Covid-19, including wearing masks.

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"And it would of course make it more likely we're going to have more restrictions. Now we want to avoid those," he added.

The legal requirement for people to wear a face covering in most indoor settings such as public transport, shops and hospitality ended on 19 July.

Numerous studies have shown that wearing face coverings over the nose and mouth can help in reducing the spread of viral droplets when a person coughs or sneezes.

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