Great Britain

Another minister admits he doesn’t know the coronavirus rules across UK ‘because he doesn’t live there’

ANOTHER minister has admitted he doesn't know the coronavirus rules across the UK because "he doesn't live there".

Policing minister Kit Malthouse stumbled over questions about local lockdown rules this morning and wrongly claimed gyms in Manchester had to close.

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Mr Malthouse is the latest in a string of Government ministers to bungle their own rules.

When quizzed on whether gyms in Manchester could open, Mr Malthouse told Sky News this morning: "I don't think gyms can (open), I'm not entirely sure, but then I don't live in Manchester.

"If I were a gym user in Manchester I would go and check on the regulations."

The Policing minister claimed he shouldn't have to know the rules in "every particular area."

He said it was Brits' responsibility to check the rules.

"In local areas, there are some variations on what can be open and what can't and I think it behoves all of us to go and inform ourselves," Mr Malthouse said.

"It's not confusing if you go and check, fundamentally that's what you need to do.

"I can't know from every particular area. I know the basics, and I understand."

Speaking later on BBC Radio 4, Mr Malthouse repeated his message that it was on Brits to learn their local rules - not ministers.

He said: "People have a duty to go off and educate themselves.

"They're only inconsistent if you're trying to understand them in more than one area. "

Last month Boris Johnson was baffled by his own rules, claiming that in local lockdown areas which ban household mixing, people could gather in groups of six indoors.

And before the introduction of the 3-tiered system, Skills minister Gillian Keegan admitted she "didn't know the rules" in the North East because "she didn't represent the North East."

When asked if people in the North East could meet up in pub gardens, Ms Keegan said: "I’m sorry I can’t clarify that.

“I don’t know the answer to that question but I’m sure they can find out the answer to that question.”

When she was pressed on how people are supposed to understand the rules when the minister don't, she said: "I'm sorry I can't answer that questions.

“I’m sure there are many people who could. I don’t represent the north-east.”

The repeated botched attempts to explain lockdown rules come as huge parts of the country hurtle towards Tier 3 restrictions due to come in at midnight on Saturday morning.

Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire will both have the toughest rules slapped on them from this weekend.

Almost half of the country, 27.3million people are currently living under extra lockdown measures.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan doesn't know whether it's legal to meet a friend in a pub garden in locked down North East England

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