Former Tory MP attacks 'draconian' compulsory face mask rules

10 October 2020, 12:36

By Seán Hickey

This is the fiery row between an ex-MP and former Bishop over the possibility of face masks becoming mandatory outdoors.

"If liberty is at the cost of people's lives, then liberty sometimes has to be restrained," insisted Bishop Stephen Lowe, former Bishop of Hulme.

He told Matt Frei that "the case is being made throughout the world" that face masks greatly reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 and put to former Conservative MP Sir Gerald Howarth that his freedom cannot risk the health of others.

"As time has gone on we've learnt more about this infection and there's no doubt about it the evidence is there no matter what Gerald says that actually the wearing of masks does actually reduce the transmission of the disease."

Read More: Masks should be mandatory outdoors and in offices, say doctors

The former Bishop revealed that if he gets the disease, he will die. "It's as simple as that."

"Is that liberty which Gerald treasures so much worth the cost of him wearing a mask everywhere for the sake of my and many other people's lives," he wondered.

The former Tory MP rebuked: "I fully accept that liberty isn't absolute, but there is a growing concern that these measures are becoming too draconian."

The UK may introduce compulsory face masks outdoors to stop the spread of Covid-19
The UK may introduce compulsory face masks outdoors to stop the spread of Covid-19. Picture: PA

Sir Gerald reminded Mr Lowe that he is "governed by consent," and wondered how these new rules would be enforced in indoor public spaces where police aren't as prominent.

"The law ought to say that you are to wear a mask in your office," the former Bishop argued.

"The facts are there that the disease is rampant, that this government - despite your love of them, has manifestly failed to contain the disease in this country," he began.

"They have shown incompetence time after time after time, we have a test and trace system that doesn't work and frankly anything that actually reduces the risk to me and many other vulnerable people's lives is worth doing."

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