The high-profile figures who got into hot water over lockdown rules

Ministers, scientific advisers and footballers have all been criticised for their behaviour

Neil Ferguson is not the first high-profile figure to apparently fall foul of lockdown rules.

Robert Jenrick

The housing, communities and local government secretary, Robert Jenrick, was forced to explain himself when it was revealed he had travelled 40 miles to see his parents at their Shropshire home. He was also criticised for travelling 150 miles from his London property, where he stayed at the start of the lockdown, to his Herefordshire home from where he travelled to his parents.

Jenrick said that he had gone to deliver food and medicine to his isolating parents, and insisted that returning to his family home was not against the rules, as his work in London at the start of the pandemic was essential.

The former Tory minister, Anna Soubry, who left the party in opposition to its stance on Brexit, accused the minister of “selfish arrogance”, tweeting that “telling cramped families in inner city high rises or squeezed suburban homes to #StayAtHome is bad enough, but justifying it by asserting he didn’t break the rules is shameful.”

Catherine Calderwood
Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, resigned after she admitted visiting her holiday home. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Catherine Calderwood

Early last month, the Scottish Sun revealed that Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, and her family had visited their holiday home in Earlsferry, Fife, taking walks with their dog to a local beach. She later revealed that they had also visited the home the previous weekend.

The Scottish government initially maintained that Calderwood had only visited the house to check in on it and the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, stood by her. But following mounting criticism – and a formal warning for Calderwood from Police Scotland for breaking the lockdown rules – it was decided that her position was untenable and she quit on 5 April.

Nigel Farage
The former Brexit party leader, Nigel Farage, travelled to Dover to film a video. Photograph: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Nigel Farage

The Brexit party leader, Nigel Farage, was visited by police after he travelled more than 100 miles to Dover to film a video about immigration. He tweeted: “Lockdown lunacy. Two police officers just knocked on my door to advise me on essential travel. They had received a complaint that I had been to Dover to report on the illegal migrant scandal taking place. What a total waste of time and money.”

It was reported that his spokesman insisted Farage was a key worker, who had made essential travel to report on a “scandal”.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney was seen out walking with Manchester City player Kyle Walker. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Wayne Rooney

Former England football captain Wayne Rooney was reportedly told off by police when he was spotted enjoying a stroll with the Manchester City player Kyle Walker. The pair, who live near each other in Cheshire, were walking along Prestbury golf course with their families when they were seen. The Sun reported that the footballers’ children went to the same school and that they had bumped into each other.

The story came days after Walker apologised after it was revealed he had invited two escorts to a party at his flat while lockdown rules were in place. The footballer admitted that his actions were in “direct contrast” to messages he had posted on social media, urging fans to follow the rules.


Frances Perraudin

The GuardianTramp

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