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CRITICISM was levelled against Boris Johnson today over the lack of social distancing and mask-wearing at a Downing Street meeting, now that six Tories including the PM are self-isolating.
One of the Tory MPs at the meeting, Ashfield MP Lee Anderson, tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday after losing his sense of taste on Friday.
A picture of Thursday’s meeting was posted by Mr Anderson on his Facebook page that shows him and Mr Johnson standing less than two metres away from each other while not wearing face masks.
Commenting on the picture, Labour MP Geraint Davies said that Mr Johnson is “literally unfit for office.”
Mr Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care with coronavirus in April, was notified by NHS Test and Trace on Sunday that he must self-isolate at Number 10 for 14 days.
In a video message posted on Twitter, he said he was “as fit as a butcher’s dog” with “no symptoms” after meeting Mr Anderson, and that he is “bursting with antibodies.”
Four other Conservative MPs who were at the meeting last week — Katherine Fletcher (South Ribble), Andy Carter (Warrington South), Lia Nici (Great Grimsby) and Brendan Clarke-Smith (Bassetlaw) — are also self-isolating.
When asked on Sky News why Mr Johnson and Mr Anderson were not wearing masks or social distancing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock repeatedly dodged the question with awkward waffle.
After being repeatedly asked if he wears a mask when visiting Downing Street, Mr Hancock finally replied “not always,” adding that each workplace has its own Covid rules and that “the Covid-secure guidelines for that building don’t require it at all times.”
Mr Johnson’s second self-isolation this year comes during a pivotal week for Brexit, as negotiations with the EU reach their final phase.
It also comes days after infighting which led to the sudden departure of his top adviser Dominic Cummings and resignation of communications director Lee Cain.
UK negotiator Lord Frost says that there has been “progress,” but “significant elements” yet to be agreed with Brussels.
Mr Johnson said that he is “confident we will prosper” without a trade deal with the EU.
Unite the union urged constituents to email their MPs today to “tell them to call on Boris Johnson to get a deal.”
It added: “Time is running out. From car manufacturing to pharmaceutical production, food processing to warehouse distribution, working people need a deal that keeps our country moving.”
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