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HomePoliticsMPs DID flout 10pm Commons bar curfew but Matt Hancock refused 30 TIMES to say if he was among them

MPs DID flout 10pm Commons bar curfew but Matt Hancock refused 30 TIMES to say if he was among them

MPs DID flout 10pm Commons bar curfew but Matt Hancock refused 30 TIMES to say if he was among them

MPS flouted a 10pm coronavirus bar curfew with House of Commons bosses accused of a cover-up over the breach.

Westminster officials admitted MPs broke Covid rules, but failed to confirm if Health Secretary Matt Hancock was among them, The Mail on Sunday reports.

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AP:Associated Press

Matt Hancock has been accused of flouting the 10pm bar curfew[/caption]

MacMillan

He is said to have returned to a Commons bar after a 9.40pm vote[/caption]

Mr Hancock has refused 30 times to confirm if he returned to the Commons bar after a 9.40pm vote.

An inquiry confirmed reports that MPs boozed after a 10pm closing time at a Commons bar, the paper claims.

But officials failed to ask Mr Hancock if he was among them – as a senior Tory MP insisted he saw the Health Secretary there.

The politician said: “I stand 100 per cent by my story. I know what I saw, and when.”

CURFEW ROW

It’s claimed Mr Hancock arrived at the bar just before 9.40pm and ordered a glass of French sauvignon blanc.

Charles Walker, the Conservative MP who led the investigation, said it would be “invidious” for Commons bar staff to name the MPs involved.

Confirming some MPs broke the 10pm curfew, he said: “It happened and it should not have happened.

“It does seem there were drinks being consumed after 10pm on that Monday night in the Smoking Room.”

This does smack of a cover-up


Labour MP John Mann

Labour MP John Mann said of the Commons inquiry: “This does smack of a cover-up.

“We in Parliament have a duty to respect the rules we lay down for everyone in the country.

“But more than that, we have a duty to be seen to be respecting the rules.”

Mr Hancock was accused of flouting the 10pm bar curfew – and allegedly joked about the government’s test-and-trace failures.

House of Commons’ bars have now been banned from serving booze as London is slammed into Tier 2 lockdown.

The prohibition kicked off on Saturday and will apply if “food is served or not”, announced the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle. 

‘DRINKS ARE ON ME’

According to the Mail on Sunday, the Health Secretary nursed a glass of white wine in the Smoking Room commons bar until at least 10.25pm.

A senior Tory MP told the Mail that Mr Hancock arrived at the bar just before 9.40pm and ordered a glass of French sauvignon blanc. 

He is then said to have joked to other MPs: “The drinks are on me – but Public Health England are in charge of the payment methodology so I will not be paying anything.”

Mr Hancock’s alleged breach of his own rules comes despite Speaker Lindsay Hoyle insisting that Commons bars must abide by the same 10pm curfew that applies to venues across the nation. 

But a spokesman for Mr Hancock denied that any rules had been broken.

They said: “No rules have been broken.

“The Secretary of State was in the Smoking Room prior to the vote that evening.

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“The Secretary of State left the Smoking Room to vote. The vote took place at 9:42pm.

“The Secretary of State then departed the Parliamentary estate to go home.”

The spokesman declined to answer whether Mr Hancock returned to the bar after voting and before he returned home.

MPs enjoy access to several bars across the Parliamentary estate
MPs enjoy access to several bars across the Parliamentary estate

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