Boris bike ride ruled legal as police say rules need clarifying

The Metropolitan Police have concluded that Boris Johnson did not break Covid rules by taking a bike ride seven miles from Downing Street.

City Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick made the decision after the Prime Minister was seen Sunday at the Olympic Park in east London, seven miles from Downing Street.

He has been criticized when two women in Derbyshire were fined after driving five miles to go for a walk.

Those sentences for Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore have since been withdrawn – but questions have been asked as to whether the Prime Minister has broken the rules.

Labor’s Andy Slaughter said: “Once again, it’s what I say, not what I do, from the Prime Minister.

“London has some of the highest infection rates in the country. Boris Johnson should lead by example.”

Official rules from the Prime Minister say you shouldn’t leave your area to play sports in order to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

The term local is not clearly defined – but the chief of the city police said this morning people should stay near their homes while exercising.

When asked about Mr. Johnson’s bike ride, she told the BBC that she would not comment on individual cases but added: “The public sees us all as role models, for all of us in public life if you want.

“What I can say is that it’s not against the law. I think that’s implicit. “

When asked how she interpreted the term “local”, Dame Cressida added, “For me a reasonable interpretation of this is that if you can … you can exercise from your doorstep and return to your doorstep.

“That’s my view of local.

“It’s complicated. I understand.”

She was also asked if the leadership of Covid should be made clearer.

The chief of the city police said, “Anything that brings more clarity to officials and the public in general will be a good thing.”

Dame Cressida said Met police officers issued 300 notices of Covid restrictions in 24 hours over the weekend.

She said, “Well, whether or not they’ll all be converted into fines that people have to pay is a different matter, but we issued 300 notices for a fine within 24 hours. It’s pretty much, and I think it will encourage more people to realize that we are in a health crisis.

“We’ve made tons of changes over the past year to the way people are restricted.

“So it can be complex for both the public and my frontline officers to know exactly what the regulations are now.

“And also for all of us as members of the public, what the guidance is.”

A woman told the Press Association that she had seen the Prime Minister in the park.

“He was driving leisurely with another man in a cap and chatting while about four security guards, possibly more, cycled behind them,” she said.

“Given the current situation with Covid, I was shocked to see him driving around so carefree.

“Shouldn’t he stay in Westminster and not travel to other counties if he advises everyone to stay home and not leave their area?”

Downing Street insisted he had done nothing wrong – but would not confirm whether Mr. Johnson had gone or rode in the park.

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