Will Halloween be cancelled? Nick Ferrari presses Environment Secretary for answers

1 October 2020, 13:40

By Sam Sholli

Environment Secretary George Eustice has been put on the spot by LBC's Nick Ferrari, as he was quizzed on whether or not Halloween would go ahead as normal this year.

The exchange comes on the same day as Matt Hancock announcing a tightening of local lockdown measures on social mixing in Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough to help bring down the rapidly spiralling cases of Covid-19.

With Halloween around the corner, Nick asked the Environment Secretary if trick or treating should be banned this year.

"You didn't see that one coming," Nick joked after asking the question.

Mr Eustice responded: "I'm sure that Matt Hancock's team in the Department of Health will be thinking about that."

However, Nick refused to let the Environment Secretary off the hook and continued: "Let the kids have trick or treat. Can't they go around dressed as witches, goblins and whatever else they might be...You're not going to be the Grinch that stopped Halloween, are you, Secretary of State?"

The Environment Secretary responded: "I certainly wouldn't want to stop that, but they probably should stay in groups of less than six."

However, Mr Eustice's words appear to lie in contrast with what has been said by the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council Martin Hewitt.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Hewitt said: "There will be a lot of messaging going out in relation to Halloween, it’s probably the next big event.

"I have no doubt forces will be planning operations around normal Halloween weekend in any event because of all the various things that happen. I am fairly confident that big events around bonfires etc will not be running, but that will be matters for local authorities.

"But I will be very, very surprised if any of that is going on. I imagine there will be from a local level, from police forces and local authorities, quite a bit of marketing campaigns to get the message across to people that it would be fairly foolish to try to do this in the way that it traditionally is done and the implications of that."

Elsewhere in his exchange with Nick Ferrari on LBC, Mr Eustice said the Prime Minister's father shouldn't be fined for breaching coronavirus rules.

Stanley Johnson said he was "extremely sorry" after being snapped by the Mirror newspaper browsing the shelves of a newsagent in west London on Tuesday.

The 80-year-old former politician appeared to be breaking the rules of his son's government by not covering his mouth and nose with a face mask.