Tory MP apologises after being spotted on train without a face mask

Tory MP Danny Kruger apologises after being spotted on train without a face mask and says he ‘forgot’

  • Devizes MP Danny Kruger pictured not wearing a face mask during train journey
  • Picture of the Tory MP travelling from Hungerford to London posted on Twitter
  • Mr Kruger says he did have a mask but had forgot to put it on during the journey
  • The MP had earlier posted on Facebook warning passengers MUST wear masks 

A Tory MP pictured travelling without a face covering on during an hour-long train journey has apologised, claiming he did have one but ‘forgot’ to put it on.  

An eagle-eyed train passenger snapped a maskless Danny Kruger, a close ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and MP for Devizes, while he was travelling on a train from the Berkshire town of Hungerford to London’s Paddington Station.

Twitter user Edi, who posted the picture of Mr Kruger, said in the tweet: ‘Don’t blame it on the young people Boris (Johnson) when your own party aren’t even following your rules.’ 

The picture of the Wiltshire MP was posted to social media site Twitter on September 19 – less than a fortnight after the Prime Minister’s former political secretary posted on Facebook saying train users ‘MUST’ wear a face covering.  

Mr Kruger has since apologised for the incident, which he called ‘a mistake’.

An eagle-eyed train passenger snapped a maskless Danny Kruger, a close ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and MP for Devizes, while he was travelling on a train from the Berkshire town of Hungerford to London

The Wiltshire MP, who was elected to the Devizes constituency in 2019, has since apologised for the incident, which he called ‘a mistake’

Mr Kruger, David Cameron’s former speechwriter, said in a statement: ‘I boarded an almost empty carriage at Hungerford and quite simply forgot to put on my mask. 

‘When I got to Paddington I realised my mistake and covered up for the rest of my journey.

‘If the person had reminded me rather than taking a photo and posting it on social media I would of course have put on my mask then and there. I do apologise for my mistake.’ 

On September 7, less than a fortnight before his memory slip, Mr Kruger told his constituents in a Facebook message that they ‘MUST wear a face covering’ unless exempt.

In another post, on his own website, Mr Kruger, whose mother is Great British Bake Off star Prue Leith, said he ‘detests the Rule of Six, the compulsory facemasks, the Covid Marshalls and the snooping on your neighbours’. 

In the post, made on Friday, he added: ‘I know the Government regrets these measures too, and are only insisting on them because of the danger of a second spike – which now seems inevitable, but may be effectively contained by the steps we are being forced to take.

On September 7, less than a fortnight before his memory slip, Mr Kruger told his constituents in a Facebook message that they ‘MUST wear a face covering’ unless exempt

Great Western Railway, the train operator that runs the route between Hungerford and Paddington, warns passengers on its website that they face a £100 fine for failing to wear a face covering on its services

In another post, on his own website, Mr Kruger, whose mother is Great British Bake Off star Prue Leith, said he ‘detests the Rule of Six, the compulsory facemasks, the Covid Marshalls and the snooping on your neighbours’.

‘I do urgently hope we can relax these rules soon, and I am talking directly to ministers to make the case. I really hope we don’t need another national lockdown.’

Great Western Railway, the train operator that runs the route between Hungerford and Paddington, warns passengers on its website that they face a £100 fine for failing to wear a face covering on its services. 

Mr Kruger’s apology comes after the Prime Minister warned last week that the UK was now experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections and announced fines of up to £10,000 for people who test positive for the virus and refuse to self-isolate.

Mr Johnson is preparing to address MPs on Tuesday amid rumours that national lockdown measures banning socialising between two households could be put in place in a bid to arrest the virus’s spread.

But Professor Paul Hunter, an expert in health protection at the University of East Anglia, said on Monday that there were examples of ‘people in authority’ who were not following the Government’s coronavirus-related restrictions.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We’ve certainly seen a lot of confusion and a lot of mixed messages over the past few months and examples of people in authority who don’t feel that they need to follow the rules themselves.’

What are the rules for face masks on public transport in England and Scotland? 

In both England and Scotland face coverings are mandatory on all public transport, including buses, coaches, trams, ferries, aircraft and trains.

In addition, some operators have amended their conditions of carriage, allowing them to enforce the requirement in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel, meaning they can implement the changes in the way that works best for them. 

Under the rules, operators are able to stop passengers who refuse to follow the rules from travelling and direct them to leave services.

In England, the police and Transport for London authorised personnel are also be able to issue fixed penalty notices of £100, or £50 if paid in 14 days.

Repeat offenders receiving fines on public transport or in an indoor setting will have their fines doubled at each offence. 

Receiving a second fine will amount to £200 and a third fine will be £400, up to a maximum value of £3,200. 

There are a number of exemptions, such as on medical grounds, as well as for young children.

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