'Government not trying to tell public who they should kiss or where', minister says

2 December 2021, 08:32

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A Government minister said he has cancelled his in-person Christmas party with staff this year but that he did not want to be telling businesses what "they should or shouldn't be doing" in terms of festive celebrations.

Asked what he made of Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey advising people to avoid "snogging under the mistletoe" this Christmas, business minister George Freeman joked with LBC's Nick Ferrari, saying: "I haven't been kissed under the mistletoe for years."

He added: "We're trying not to tell everyone who they should kiss or where they should go.

"I think Therese Coffey was making the point that we're all going to have to exercise some common sense and I think the British public know that, in the end, it is up to all of us.

"If we can prevent the virus from spreading, we'll all be able to enjoy more freedoms and that's why we have taken the steps we have.

"I can tell you that my parliamentary team and I normally have a Christmas party. We've decided this year that it is probably sensible to do it by Zoom and wait for the spring. It won't be the best party in the world.

"But ... we don't want to be telling every individual business what they should or shouldn't be doing. It is a matter for them."

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