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Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick Broke Lockdown Rules to Visit Parents 40 Miles Away

The housing secretary travelled 40 miles last weekend to Shropshire to see his parents despite advising the British public to stay home during the coronavirus outbreak.

He tweeted the Friday before: “If you are considering going out this weekend, please don’t, unless it’s for work [where you cannot work from home], health reasons, food shopping or exercise. We need to stay home to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Robert Jenrick

Jenrick was seen by a witness on his parent’s front garden after travelling over an hour from his home in Herefordshire to drop off food and medical supplies for his self-isolating parents. 

It has been revealed that the local community has already been helping Jenrick’s parents by delivering groceries in the weeks since the lockdown commenced. 

The cabinet minister has confirmed in a tweet that he did visit his parents during the ongoing lockdown but defended his trip by saying that he needed to drop off essential medication and food.

He said: “For clarity – my parents asked me to deliver some essentials – including medicines. They are both self-isolating due to age and my father’s medical condition and I respected social distancing rules.”

Prime Minister hosting coronavirus talks

It was also revealed that Jenrick travelled between London and his home in Herefordshire last Thursday, a decision that he also defended on Twitter saying:

“My house in Herefordshire is the place I, my wife and my young children consider to be our family home, and my family were there before any restrictions on travel were announced. I have been working in London on ministerial duties… once I was able to work from home, it was right that I went home to do so and be with my wife and also help care for my three young children.”

These trips came after Jenrick recently urged people not to visit their loved ones on Mother’s Day, saying:

“The advice today is very clear, we need to stay at home for all bar the most essential activities, and by doing that we’ll protect the NHS and help to save lives. I know it’s Mother’s Day, and I know it’s tough and it goes against everything that we want to do as a family, but don’t go and see your mum.”

Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, resigned from her position after facing a backlash from the public and a police warning for breaking the lockdown rules by visiting her family in Fife, more than an hour’s drive from her main family home in Edinburgh twice. 

She said: “The first minister and I have had a further conversation this evening and we have agreed that the justifiable focus on my behaviour risks becoming a distraction from the hugely important job that the government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic. Having worked so hard on the government’s response, that is the last thing I want.”

Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said that officers had visited Dr. Calderwood and issued her with a warning.

He said: “Individuals must not make personal exemptions bespoke to their own circumstances.”

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