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Rosie Duffield quits front bench after breaching lockdown

ROSIE DUFFIELD has quit as a Labour whip after she admitted to breaking lockdown rules.

The MP for Canterbury stood down from the front-bench role and apologised after confirming that she met her partner while they were living separately, in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds said yesterday that Ms Duffield was “absolutely right” to have taken “immediate responsibility” for her actions.

Ms Duffield, 48, went for a long walk in her constituency with married father-of-three James Routh, a TV director, in April. She also admitted that he visited her constituency home.

She said they’d observed the two-metre social distancing rules, but these incidents were before meetings between people from different households were allowed.

In a statement to the Mail on Sunday, Ms Duffield said: “My partner and I have been attempting to navigate a difficult personal situation as responsibly as possible.

“I apologise that during that process, we breached the guidelines.

“A relationship breakdown is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic.

“I hope people can understand why I took the steps I did and know that I take responsibility for the breaches that occurred and for which I apologise.”

Ms Duffield was elected in the 2017 general election with a majority of 187, winning a seat which had been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1918.

She held onto it in the 2019 general election, increasing her majority to 1,836.

PM Boris Johnson’s political aide Dominic Cummings has refused to resign or apologise after travelling from London to Durham with his wife and child at the height of the lockdown.

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