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'If I can walk my dog, why can't I play golf?' Tory MPs complain about 'flimsy' lockdown rules

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
Close up golf ball on green grass field. sport golf club
Tory MPs want to know why they can't play golf during lockdown. (Getty)

Several Tory MPs have questioned why they can’t play golf or tennis under the new coronavirus lockdown rules.

Ahead of the Commons vote that saw MPs back the government’s four-week national lockdown in England, some questioned elements of the new restrictions that mean they can’t play golf or tennis but can walk dogs.

Sir Peter Bottomley, the Father of the House of Commons and MP for Worthing West, said: “I do believe that two people playing tennis – separated by a net – can do so safely – and safely as they can if they went for a walk.

“I think that golf restrictions are unnecessary. There’s obviously a responsibility on the club for the provision of the premises but I think that should be possible.

“If I can go for a walk with the dog, or take him for a walk with the cat or fly after my parrot – I haven’t got any of those – I think I ought to be able to go round with the golf club as well.”

Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley
Sir Peter Bottomley said he wants to be able to play a round of golf. (Getty)

Sir Graham Brady agreed, saying: “Any right to ban golf or tennis without giving any reason whatsoever.

“When the Prime Minister was challenged on this on Monday, he simply said if you start to give exemptions, the whole thing will unravel – we cannot vote for measures on that flimsy basis.

“We cannot ask people to follow rules which patently make no sense and expect them to have respect for what is being done.”

Many of the restrictions under the second national lockdown for England will be the same as the first earlier this year, but some rules are slightly less stringent.

The government has published 32 pages of regulations including 13 exceptions to the general stay-at-home message.

Watch: Can you catch coronavirus twice?

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