United Kingdom

Mayor of Enfield caught cycling with other councillors despite lockdown rules

The Mayor of Enfield has been caught cycling with two other councillors while proudly wearing his chain of office - despite lockdown rules banning exercise with multiple people outside of his household.

Mayor Sabri Ozaydin was filmed with a large group of cyclists as they took a break outside a Costa Coffee shop on Sunday. 

Under coronavirus lockdown rules socialising and exercising with multiple members of other households is banned.  

But photographs posted online by Cllr Ozaydin showed him peddling around Enfield with two others. 

He wrote: 'Mayor of Enfield, Cllr Sabri Ozaydin, Cllr Ahmet Hasan, Cllr Mustafa Cetinkaya, are out cycling getting their daily exercise.' 

Photographs posted online by Mayor of Enfield, Councillor Sabri Ozaydin showed him peddling around Enfield with Cllr Ahmet Hasan and Cllr Mustafa Cetinkaya

When challenged by a passerby Cllr Ozaydin claimed they were 'testing the cycle lanes'. 

Cycle lanes implemented during coronavirus lockdown have sparked controversy recently for clogging up roadways. 

In a clip showing the mayor wearing his chain of office outside a Costa Coffee shop he was stood with at least three men. As a passerby filmed the mayor he said: 'He knows he's done wrong. Look. The mayor of Enfield.' 

Cllr Ozaydin was filmed with a large group of cyclists as they took a break outside a coffee shop on Sunday

Cycle lanes implemented during coronavirus lockdown as part of the Government's controversial £2 billion 'active travel' plan have sparked controversy recently for clogging up roadways. Pictured, photographs shared by Cllr Ozaydin

The Mayor of Enfield (pictured) was elected last year and sworn into office in June 2020

Two others standing near the mayor suddenly stepped back as the man added: 'So what are you doing out with a group of people?'

Rules for outdoors exercise amid coronavirus lockdown 

You should minimise time spent outside your home, but you can leave your home to exercise. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

This includes but is not limited to running, cycling, walking, and swimming. 

Personal training can continue if participants are from the same household or support bubble. 

It can also continue if it is one-on-one, although this should only take place in a public outdoor place, and not in someone’s private home or garden.

Source: Gov.uk  

Cllr Ozaydin, who is from Turkey, said: 'We are just cycling.'

The man said: 'But you're not allowed to. We're in a lockdown. You're only meant to be meeting one other person outside your family house and you're out with a group of cyclists.'

The mayor said 'we are testing the roads' as he pulled a blue surgical mask over his nose and mouth.

The filmer said: 'But what you're doing is breaking the law. A group of individuals, all meeting up at a coffee shop and going for a bike ride. It's not on. You should be leading the way. Not breaking the law.'

Another man, thought to be Cllr Ozaydin's chauffeur and personal assistant, stepped forward to defend the mayor.

He said: 'We're actually attempting to find out what is wrong with the cycle lanes.' 

The man filming said: 'In lockdown. Do you all live together? You've all come from separate households. There's a pandemic on. Mayor of Enfield, with his mates, out for a bike ride. Lovely.' 

Lockdown rules on the Government website clearly state exercise with multiple people from other households is banned.

It reads: 'You should minimise time spent outside your home, but you can leave your home to exercise. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

'You can exercise in a public outdoor place: by yourself, with the people you live with, with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one), in a childcare bubble where providing childcare, or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.'

MailOnline has contacted Cllr Ozaydin for comment. 

Those commenting underneath the mayor's tweet were not impressed with his daily exercise.

One said: 'The law is clear, at present you may cycle with one person not from your own household, here we see you with at least three people, unless you live with two of them you have broken the law, checking cycle lanes is not mitigation.'

Cllr Ozaydin tried to defend himself as he was filmed outside a Costa coffee shop in Enfield

Those commenting underneath the mayor's tweet were not impressed with his daily exercise

Nicola Hume, who said she was the daughter of Cllr Ozaydin's assistant, wrote: 'The assumption was that he’s just out with friends when he isn’t. He’s with colleagues. The guy filming has jumped the gun. He’s wearing his mayoral livery collar which shows he’s working. They took some social media pics of him doing some exercise and stopped outside a Costa...'

But others did not accept this explanation. One wrote: 'It was The official mayor Twitter page that said they're just "getting their daily exercise". Not sure why you need a whole group of councillors to "test the roads".' 

Another added: 'Are these the after pics of when 6 of you stopped for a coffee & chat that have been posted on FB...absolutely shocking, we’re in lockdown and this is not seen as essential, think you need to consider an explanation and potential apology to enfield residents.'

One wrote: 'Disgraceful flouting of the lockdown rules. Perhaps because you are The Mayor you think you are above the law. BTW wearing a Mayoral chain on a bike ride is completely ridiculous!! Let’s wait for the condemnation from the leader of Enfield Council shall we ??!!'

Another said: 'What did one say. We are checking the cycle lanes. You’d think they would come up with a better excuse. And wearing his chains. Beyond belief.'

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