Labour MP Rosie Duffield steps down from frontbench after admitting lockdown breach

A Labour MP is no longer serving in a senior role in the parliamentary party after admitting breaking coronavirus lockdown rules.

Rosie Duffield, who represents Canterbury in the House of Commons, has apologised and is no longer a Labour whip after it was revealed that she met her partner when they were not living together in April.

Ms Duffield, who was first elected in 2017, met her partner for a long walk and did not deny that he came to her house, the Mail on Sunday has reported.

She said that they stayed two metres apart at all times on the walk, but that these meetings were before meetings between two people from different households were allowed.

Rosie Duffield MP

Ms Duffield added: “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.”

Anneliese Dodds (PA)

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has said Ms Duffield was right to resign from her front bench position.

Ms Dodds told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “She was absolutely right to resign, clearly she wasn’t right to have broken the rules – quite the opposite – and it is absolutely correct that she has immediately taken responsibility for that as I understand it, and she has resigned.

“But, you know, it is critically important … I talk to my constituents and the kind of sacrifices that they have gone through to stick to the rules, to keep us all safe, everybody has got to do that – so it is absolutely right, I think, that Rosie Duffield has resigned her position on the front bench.”


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