Grant Shapps dismisses Sadiq Khan's claim that people should all wear facemasks

17 April 2020, 12:38

By Adrian Sherling

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has told LBC it is "not the right moment" to encourage people to wear masks.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says wearing face masks while travelling around the capital should be compulsory after the coronavirus lockdown is loosened.

But speaking to LBC, the Transport Secretary said he wanted to ensure facemasks were not taken away from key workers at this time.

He said: "The scientists are telling me that their initial response is that they can be counter-productive, but we need to take this in the round and look at all of the evidence.

"It is not the right moment, as I saw the Mayor of London doing, to instruct people to wear them if we are not certain yet that they are going to be advantageous.

Grant Shapps dismissed suggestions we should all be wearing facemasks
Grant Shapps dismissed suggestions we should all be wearing facemasks. Picture: PA

"In fact, he wrote to me about this and said in his letter he recognises that it could be counterproductive, so I don't think we should be in that space right at this moment."

"I'm slightly confused by the approach and I will be writing back to him simply to say we've got the subcommittee of Sage, that's the scientific advisory emergency committee, who are looking at this at the moment - so let's let them tell us which is the best scientific approach because there are pluses and minuses to wearing masks."

Hear the full interview at the top of the page.