Rule of six: Policing Minister reveals he cancelled nine-year-old twins' birthday

14 September 2020, 11:17 | Updated: 14 September 2020, 11:26

By Joe Cook

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse revealed he cancelled his nine-year-old twins' birthday party on Saturday, following the announcement of the new 'rule of six' coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari, Mr Malthouse said he empathised with people annoyed by the rules: "I know it is a total pain. You're talking to a dad who had to cancel his kids' birthday party on Saturday, when these rules came in."

The Government has made it illegal to "mingle" under the new law enabling the enforcement of the "rule of six" in England.

Despite the rules only coming into force on Monday, Mr Malthouse accepted being labelled 'The dad that cancelled the birthday party' by Nick.

"It was a big thing for us as a family," the policing minister confirmed, "They're not very happy, we have offered compensatory items, fear not. You know what kids are like, they trade.

"We're in discussions, it's worse than the EU. It is all sorts of negotiations. It normally configures around computer games."

Changes to regulations in England were published late on Sunday night, around 30 minutes before they came into force.

Asked by Nick why children are exempt from the 'rule of six' in Scotland and Wales but not in England, Mr Malthouse admitted he had not seen the data, but said different rules for different ages would confuse things.

But, suggesting that yet another government U-turn is not being ruled out, he hinted: "We will see what the different performance might be" between England and the rest of the UK.

"The tighter we have it now, the quicker it will be over and we can get back to normal and fingers crossed have a Christmas," he added.

People face fines of £100, doubling to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences, for breaching the law, which bans social gatherings of more than six people both indoors and outdoors.