Boris Johnson was put on the spot as the Government comes under attack for flouting its own mask-wearing advice with many Conservative MPs not wearing them in the House of Commons. Health Secretary Sajid Javid advised the UK to wear masks to avoid coronavirus cases surging but was accused of being a hypocrite when he and other MPs have been seen not wearing them in Parliament. Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said MPs did not have to wear one because they were not strangers with the Prime Minister grilled on whether he would take the Tory frontbencher aside and “have a word” with him.
Mr Johnson was visiting a vaccine centre where he spoke to journalists about the rise in cases.
After being asked about whether he was worried about the rise, to which he said they were expected, Mr Johnson was then grilled on his party’s own behaviour.
The Prime Minister was asked whether he and his fellow Conservatives would set an example by wearing masks in the House of Commons and speaking to MPs flouting the rules.
He told Sky News: “I think there are a lot of steps we need to take to continue to follow the guidance.
“So, the commonsensical things like washing your hands, wearing your masks in confined spaces where you see people you don’t normally meet.
“The key message today is all people over 50 should think about getting their booster jab.”
Mr Johnson was noted for not giving a straight answer as the Tories come under attack for not wearing masks.
During the press conference on Wednesday, Mr Javid gave an update on the pandemic and urged people to come forward for their booster shots and to follow certain guidelines.
He explained: “There are many more things we can do to help contain the spread of this virus.
“Like meeting outdoors where possible and if you can only meet indoors, letting in fresh air.
“Like wearing a face-covering in crowded, enclosed spaces.
“Especially if you are coming into contact with people you don’t normally meet and making and taking rapid tests as part of your routine.”
The Health Secretary stressed if those rules were not followed then it would be likely to see further restrictions put in place.
But soon after the conference, many noted he and other MPs have not been wearing masks in the Commons nor at Cabinet meetings.
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Mr Javid has come under fire for the hypocrisy before and stated MPs were familiar with each other so did not need to wear masks.
Mr Rees-Mogg echoed those lines earlier this week when he clashed with SNP spokesperson Pete Wishart.
The Commons leader attempted to jokingly brush off the accusation and say many Conservatives were close friends and enjoyed hanging out with each other.
Because of that, they could easily communicate with each other on whether they felt ill or unsafe and mocked the SNP for “disliking” each other.
NHS chiefs have urged the Government to put in place the “Plan B” restrictions which would include working from home, mask-wearing and some social distancing.
Wales follows nearly exactly the “Plan B” rules now but currently has the worst Covid rate in the UK.