Labour MP quits role after lockdown breach

A Labour MP has apologised and stood down from her frontbench role after admitting breaching lockdown rules.

Rosie Duffield met her partner in her Canterbury constituency for a five-hour walk when he was still living with his wife, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Guidance in place at the time in April banned people socialising with anyone from outside their own household.

The MP said she took responsibility for her actions and would quit her role as an opposition whip in the Commons.

The Mail on Sunday said Ms Duffield and her TV director boyfriend James Routh had gone on the walk at a time when they were not living together and strict controls on people’s movements were in force to prevent the spread of the virus between households.

The newspaper said Mr Routh had also visited the MP at a property she was renting in Canterbury.

‘Difficult situation’

While insisting the pair had observed the two-metre social distancing rule when they met, the MP said she accepted her actions constituted a breach of the guidance at the time.

“My partner and I have been attempting to navigate a difficult personal situation as responsibly as possible,” she said.

“I apologise that during that process, we breached the guidelines. A relationship breakdown is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic.

“I hope people can understand why I took the steps I did and know that I take responsibility for the breaches that occurred and for which I apologise.”

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