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Jeremy Corbyn ‘broke coronavirus rule of six at dinner party’

By Tom Pilgrim, PA
·3-min read

Jeremy Corbyn should be fined following reports he breached the “rule of six” limit on social gatherings, a shadow minister has said.

According to the Sun newspaper, the former Labour leader attended a dinner with eight other people, breaking one of the tight restrictions in place during the Covid-19 pandemic.

New laws prohibiting social gatherings of more than six people came into effect on September 14, with police now able to disperse any such gatherings and fine individuals £200 for a first offence.

The newspaper, which claimed the dinner party took place on September 26, said Mr Corbyn had apologised.

Speaking to Times Radio on Thursday, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, shadow minister for mental health, said: “Of course he should pay a fine. Anyone that breaks the law should pay a fine. I am glad that he has apologised. That was the right thing to do.

“It does seem as though he was at a dinner party and more people arrived and when it got to six he should have left.

“But I’m glad to see him taking responsibility. Unfortunately people like Dominic Cummings don’t seem to have taken responsibility and we have also seen Boris Johnson’s own father walking in a shop without wearing a mask.”

She added: “We all have a responsibility to adhere to the rules.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Mr Corbyn should have obeyed the rules, but stopped short of calling for his predecessor to be fined.

“It’s not for me to decide who should be fined, but it is for me to say that everybody should follow the rules,” he said.

Downing Street said it would be up to the police to decide whether any action should be taken against Mr Corbyn.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “In relation to individuals, it is up to the police to determine what action to take.

“What the Prime Minister is clear on is that the rules apply to everyone and everyone should follow them.”

The Prime Minister’s father Stanley Johnson has said he was “extremely sorry” after being pictured shopping without wearing a face covering.

Stanley Johnson was pictured in the Mirror newspaper perusing the shelves at a newsagents in west London on Tuesday, seemingly breaking the rules by not covering his mouth and nose.

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Stanley Johnson said he was ‘extremely sorry’ after being pictured shopping without wearing a face covering (Aaron Chown/PA)

Earlier this year reports suggested Mr Johnson’s senior aide Mr Cummings allegedly broke the Government’s lockdown rules when he was spotted at his parents’ property in Durham where he was recovering from coronavirus symptoms, after travelling from his London home with his wife and son who also fell ill.

Mr Cummings defended his actions in a press conference in the Downing Street rose garden, saying he believed he behaved “reasonably” and did not regret his actions.

Asked on Sky News on Thursday if Mr Corbyn should be fined, Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The police will obviously take appropriate action here.

“We’ve got the rule of six, and there are fines that can be put in place. But the police will apply this in a proportionate way.”

He added: “We have the rule of six, and it’s being enforced and should be enforced, yes.

“But that doesn’t mean that there should be a penalty in every case.

“Sometimes it can be a warning, sometimes people make mistakes and apologise for it.”