Keir Starmer and Shadow Business minister have been grilled by Sky’s Sophy Ridge for not wearing masks while at the pub. It comes as measures surrounding face coverings are under review by the Government. Presenter Ms Ridge asked the Labour MP: “Do you think face coverings should be mandatory in shops as they are in Scotland and was it a good example to set last week when you and Keir Starmer went to a bar in London without wearing face masks yourselves?”
Speaking on Sky News, Ms Powell said: “I think you need real clarity on this issue now from the Government.”
Ms Ridge interjected: “To get clarity, wouldn’t it be helpful to actually wear the face coverings?”
The shadow minister continued: “We followed the guidance in Brewdog where we were.
“We do need to get a lot more confidence back in the system and if the mandatory wearing of face masks in shops will help to do that then we absolutely support it.
Labour MP Lucy Powell was grilled by Sky’s Sophy Ridge
Keir Starmer and Lucy Powell visited a pub in London
“We think the Government, instead of just showing a bit of leg occasionally on these things by briefing newspapers or saying things that are not clear guidance in press conferences as the Prime Minister did on Friday, should get some clarity.
“That’s really something that would get confidence back into the system and get people feeling that they can go to the shops, they can go to restaurants and go to bars.”
It comes as face coverings could be made mandatory in shops in England, Boris Johnson has hinted, as he urged Britons to go back to work if they can.
The Prime Minister said he wanted to be “stricter” on insisting people wear mouth and nose coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they do not normally see.
Boris Johnson recently hinted masks could become compulsory in shops
Downing Street is understood to be looking at the issue, amid suggestions new rules could be introduced within a few weeks.
Mr Johnson was pictured wearing a face covering for the first time during the pandemic while visiting businesses in his Uxbridge constituency on Friday.
And in an online question and answer session with the public, he said: “I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don’t normally meet.
“We are looking at ways of making sure that people really do have face coverings in shops, for instance, where there is a risk of transmission.”
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Mr Johnson said he wanted people to go back to work “if they can” as he expressed a desire for people to “lead their lives more normally”.
He said: “I think everybody has sort of taken the ‘stay at home if you can’ – I think we should now say, well, ‘go back to work if you can’. Because I think it’s very important that people should try to lead their lives more normally.
“I want to see more people feeling confident to use the shops, use the restaurants, and get back into work – but only if we all follow the guidance.”
Face coverings are currently compulsory on public transport and in hospitals in England, but are only advised in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible and where “you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet”.