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Rees-Mogg: Imagine me laid down flat when trying to judge social distancing

By PA News

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Jacob Rees-Mogg said ‘we’ve still got to maintain social distancing’ until the data allows restrictions to be relaxed (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Jacob Rees-Mogg has recommended people think of him being laid down flat on the floor when trying to judge the distance they need to keep from others.

The Commons Leader’s advice on social distancing came as he insisted the Government wishes to lift restrictions on people’s freedoms as soon as possible.

Guidelines for England recommend people keep two metres apart from others they do not live with where possible.

Asked by Conservative MP Aaron Bell (Newcastle-under-Lyme) to guarantee the Government would act with urgency to relax restrictions when the data allows it to happen, Mr Rees-Mogg told the Commons: “The regulations lapse and have to be renewed, so any renewal of them will always require a debate and a vote in this House.

“But a great deal has happened – 4.6 million people have had inoculations across the United Kingdom so far, there are 1,000 vaccination sites already operating in England, and so things are happening.

“In the meantime, we’ve still got to maintain social distancing – six-and-a-half feet away from people, think of me being laid down flat and that is a little bit short of the distance that you need. We have to follow that.”

He added: “There is nobody in the Government, nobody in this House who wishes these restraints to remain a day longer than is necessary.

“The restriction of these liberties is something no government would wish to do and has been done because of an emergency, and there is no justification for having them beyond the point at which they are needed.”

Deputy Speaker Dame Rosie Winterton noted: “The Leader of the House paints a tantalising picture.”

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