The Guardian

Do as we say, not as we do

- Rowena Mason

Boris Johnson has been criticised for leading a maskless cabinet meeting of 27 senior ministers on the same day as urging people to wear masks in enclosed spaces.

The prime minister gave a press conference yesterday setting out his Covid winter plan, with one of the key messages being: “Wear a mask in crowded settings.”

But hours earlier, he chaired cabinet where at least 27 senior ministers sat close together without masks.

None of the eight aides and advisers at the edges of the room were wearing masks either.

There has been a clear divide in the Commons since the mandatory requiremen­t to wear a mask was dropped, with Tory MPs tending not to wear face coverings, while Labour and other opposition MPs do so.

A Labour spokesman said the cabinet meeting “looks like it’s one rule for them and another rule for everyone else”.

People have returned to Westminste­r this month, crowding into parties and bars for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, with few wearing masks.

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