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Nick Ferrari challenges Dame Cressida Dick on whether Boris' bike ride was 'local'

19 January 2021, 08:56 | Updated: 19 January 2021, 12:21

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has told LBC people should “stay local” to exercise but added that “people exercise differently” when asked about Boris Johnson’s decision to go for a bike ride seven miles from his home.

When asked by Nick Ferrari about whether the Prime Minister was right to travel to the Olympic Park to ride his bicycle, Dame Cressida said: “It’s a relative term isn’t it, staying local, stay in your part of your city.”

But when Nick pointed out Mr Johnson was in a different police patch when he was spotted just over a week ago, she added: “People exercise differently, if you’re training for a marathon you’re going to run a long way.

“I think the point is not to get into the car and go somewhere else, we’ve had people driving 100 miles, 250 miles to go to a beauty spot, that is clearly not local exercise.”

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The Prime Minister was seen in the east London park on a Sunday afternoon, cycling with members of his security detail.  

He has been accused of hypocrisy for travelling so far from his home after imposing sweeping Covid restrictions on others.

The commissioner added that while said that while the law does not stipulate how far you can go to exercise, “the guidance suggests and I’m sure 99 per cent of people understand this guidance, you should stay local, that means stay in your village or in your part of your city or your town."

She said: “Most people are doing their very best, we’re in the middle of a health emergency and almost everybody is the seeing the need to restrict their movements, stay at home, reduce social contacts and comply with the regulations, but there are some that aren’t.

“The challenge for the NHS is worse than ever, worse than perhaps ever in its history so I think it’s quite right that my officers are out there dealing with the people, the small minority who are failing to comply and on occasion issuing tickets or if they refuse to give their names and addresses as some people do they can be arrested.”

A witness who claimed to have seen My Johnson said: "He was leisurely cycling with another guy with a beanie hat and chatting while around four security guys, possibly more, cycled behind them."

Labour MP Andy Slaughter was among those to condemn him.

Mr Slaughter said: "Once again it is do as I say not as I do from the Prime Minister.

"London has some of the highest infection rates in the country. Boris Johnson should be leading by example."

The Government was engulfed in controversy last year when Mr Johnson's then chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, was accused of breaking lockdown rules, something Mr Cummings denied.

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