Labour MP Rosie Duffield quits as whip after flouting coronavirus lockdown rules to meet partner


LABOUR MP Rosie Duffield has quit as party whip after flouting coronavirus lockdown rules to meet her partner.

The frontbencher apologised after it was revealed she went for a long walk in her Canterbury constituency with married father-of-three James Routh in April.

Labour MP Rosie Duffield, 48, admitted to beaching lockdown rules to meet her married lover

She also admitted that he visited her home in Kent.

Ms Duffield, 48, said the couple observed the two-metre social distancing rules.

But added these incidents were before meetings between people from different households were allowed.

TV director Mr Routh has since moved into the MP’s London flat after separating from his wife, the Mail on Sunday reported.

In a statement Ms Duffield said: “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.”

The lockdown breach is embarrassing for party leader Sir Keir Starmer who last week blasted the PM’s aide Dominic Cummings over his lockdown road trip to his parents’.

Sir Keir Starmer said he would have sacked Mr Cummings if he had been his boss.


Ms Duffield won praise from MPs last year when she revealed she had been the victim of domestic abuse.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds has said Ms Duffield was right to resign from her front bench position.

Speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Ms Dodds said: “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.”

Ms Duffield was elected in the 2017 General Election with a majority of 187, winning a seat which had been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1918.

She held onto the seat in the 2019 General Election, increasing her majority to 1,836.