Tory MPs have been accused of "utter hypocrisy" as some failed to wear face masks in the Commons - despite being urged to set an example by the Health Secretary.
Sajid Javid appealed to the public to wear masks in enclosed spaces to curb rising infection rates and admitted that MPs should lead the way in Parliament.
At a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, Mr Javid was pressed on whether MPs should have donned face coverings at Prime Minister's Questions in the packed Commons chamber.
He replied: “I think that is a very fair point. As I say, we’ve all got our role to play in this."
But some MPs were still flouting the advice on Thursday morning.
When the Mirror did a headcount at 10.36am, we saw 14 MPs on the government benches - seven with masks and seven without.
By comparison there were 19 MPs on the opposition benches, 18 with masks and one without.
Tory MPs wearing masks included Jeremy Hunt while those without masks included lockdown sceptic MPs Desmond Swayne and Mark Harper.
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said: “It is utter hypocrisy that the public are rightfully being advised to wear masks while Conservative MPs refuse to do so.
“The very same day that Sajid Javid was urging the public to take steps to protect themselves against the virus, Conservative MPs were laid across the green benches maskless and irresponsible."
In the Commons, Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said she was wearing her mask “out of choice because it’s the right thing to do”, when pressed on the issue by the SNP ’s Peter Grant.
Tory former minister Dr Andrew Murrison challenged the minister on the "obsession with non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as mask wearing," which he claimed would obscure the focus on the vaccination programme.
Image:POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Lockdown-sceptic backbencher Sir Desmond Swayne also said the mask would "deny us the fellowship and reassurance of her friendly facial expression".
Ms Throup replied: "I look forward to the time we don't need to wear face coverings because I love to see everyone's smiling faces, but we do need to make sure that we all get jabbed so we can get to that stage."
On masks, she said: "Plan A outlines the guidance that we have in place and that's the guidance that people should be following, and it's up to individuals to work out what works for them and what's best for them.
"Plan B incorporates mandatory wearing of masks but we're on plan A."
Earlier, Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens said the vast majority of opposition MPs have been wearing masks throughout.
She told TimesRadio it appeared that Tory MPs were "being whipped" not to wear masks in the Chamber.
"I don't understand why Conservative Party MPs... it almost felt like they were being whipped not to wear masks in the chamber. I don't know whether they were or not but it's been a very odd situation.
"Finally, last night Sajid Javid was saying he would recommend that people wear masks and yet his government colleagues and fellow Tory MPs don't wear them."
It comes as the Government resisted calls to implement "plan B" of its Covid winter plan, which includes wearing masks, vaccine passports and returning to working from home.Read More Read More