PM 'within the rules' by taking seven-mile Olympic Park bike ride, Policing Minister says

12 January 2021, 08:30 | Updated: 12 January 2021, 14:59

Nick Ferrari challenges Malthouse over PM's cycle

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Boris Johnson was “within the rules” in travelling seven miles for a bike ride in the Olympic Park, the Policing Minister has told LBC.

Kit Malthouse told Nick Ferrari: “You are allowed to leave your house once a day for the purposes of exercise... as you know [the Prime Minister is] a great cyclist, and that was his daily exercise as I understand it.”

He added: “It seems perfectly reasonable for him to take his exercise on his bike, he didn’t interact with anybody, acted proportionally, maintained social distancing. That all is perfectly within the rules.”

READ MORE: Fines 'increasingly likely' for Covid rule breakers, Met Police Commissioner warns

READ MORE: 'Your actions can make a difference' - Health Secretary urges public not to be complacent

Mr Johnson was spotted in the east London park on 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.

Official regulations brought in by the PM say that exercise is limited to once a day and you should not leave your local area.

But Mr Malthouse said: “Seven miles seems to me be a relatively short bike ride.”

James O'Brien reacts to PM's cycle ride

“I know there are people out there jogging eight, nine miles a day to keep themselves fit," he added.

“It’s very important that we maintain our health and we are trying to strike a balance to allow people to exercise proportionally and get out there once a day to take that exercise and that’s what the Prime Minister was doing and it seems to me perfectly reasonable to do so.”

He continued: “What we’re asking people is... to consider whether they absolutely need to leave the house and if they are doing so if it’s for one of those reasons – to get food, to get their daily exercise and... to stay local as much as possible.”

Mr Malthouse said the meaning of local is “open for interpretation” but added it “certainly doesn’t mean crossing the country to drive to Snowdonia which we’ve seen happening, or up to the Peak District or whatever it might be.”

“But we know that the vast majority of people will apply their common sense, see the reasoning behind the rules, recognise the problem that we face in hospitals and elsewhere and comply," he added. "Where they don’t sadly I’m afraid the police will moving much more quickly towards enforcement."

Nick Ferrari challenges Malthouse over two women walking

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.

"When I realised the person looked like Boris I cycled past them to hear his voice and be sure it's him. It was definitely Boris."

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 comments came after a Downing Street spokesman was unable to tell a Westminster briefing whether it was against the regulations to sit on a park bench on your own.

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.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Smoke rises during protests in Noumea, New Caledonia

French authorities report sixth death in New Caledonia violence

Itzhak Gelerenter, Shani Louk and Amit Buskila

Bodies of three hostages killed at October 7 music festival recovered in Gaza

Anne Robinson has confirmed she is in a relationship with Andrew Parker Bowles

Anne Robinson reveals secret relationship with Queen Camilla's ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles

A member of the LGBTQ+ community holds up a sign with a message that reads 'Nothing to cure', during a protest in Lima, Peru

Protests in Peru against classification of gender identities as ‘mental illness’

Girls Aloud reunited for the first time in 11 years to pay tribute to Sarah Harding

Tears for Sarah Harding: fans pay tribute as Girls Aloud reunite for first time in 11 years

Cases of cryptosporidiosis have doubled

MP says 'heads will roll' over Devon water parasite crisis, as confirmed cryptosporidium cases double

Exclusive
Vera and Dan

'Why I’m taking my security into my own hands’: Brits buy guard dogs and doorbell cameras as crime concerns soar

Yvette Fielding said that Rolf Harris sexually assaulted her

Yvette Fielding claims Rolf Harris sexually assaulted her while she was hosting Blue Peter as a teenager

Rachel Reeves has said that rent caps could be allowed to be set

Labour 'could allow rent caps', Rachel Reeves says - but shadow chancellor warned that 'landlords would leave in droves'

Justice Department Boeing Explainer

Boeing shareholders approve chief’s compensation as company faces investigations

Shani Louk (left), Itzhak Gelerenter and Amit Buskila.

'No father would want to hear this': Shani Louk's family speak out after Nova festival victim's body discovered in Gaza

Maths teacher Rebecca Joynes was found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

Female teacher, 30, given one last chance to see baby after being found guilty of having sex with two schoolboys

Steve Buscemi

Man charged over random assault on actor Steve Buscemi in New York

Obit Dabney Coleman

Actor Dabney Coleman, who specialised in curmudgeons, dies aged 92

David DePape, 44, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in the US.

Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband with hammer sentenced to 30 years behind bars

Scottie Scheffler was detained by police near the PGA Championship course

World No1 golfer Scottie Scheffler 'in shock' after being arrested as he reveals he warmed up for US PGA in jail cell