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Rosie Duffield apologises and quits as Labour Whip for breaching lockdown restrictions

Kent MP Rosie Duffield has been forced to apologise and quit as a Labour Whip after reportedly admitting breaching lockdown restrictions with her new partner.

The Canterbury and Whitstable representative is said to have gone on a long walk with James Routh and allowed him to visit her constituency address when he was still living in his marital home.

Labour MP Rosie Duffield has apologised for breaching lockdown restrictions
Labour MP Rosie Duffield has apologised for breaching lockdown restrictions

Both incidents - in which Ms Duffield insists two-metre distancing was adhered to - are said to have occurred when lockdown rules forbid contact with other households.

The couple were at the time not living together, but married Mr Routh - who is separated from his wife - is now understood to have moved into the London flat Ms Duffield stays in when in the Commons.

The revelations - reported tonight by the Mail on Sunday - come in the wake of calls for the Prime Minister's top aide, Dominic Cummings, to resign for travelling 260 miles to Durham during lockdown.

But while Boris Johnson's advisor refused to admit any wrongdoing, Ms Duffield has apologised and resigned as a Labour Whip.

Dominic Cummings speaking from Downing Street. Picture: BBC
Dominic Cummings speaking from Downing Street. Picture: BBC

She told the MoS she checked that father-of-three Mr Routh moving into her home complied with lockdown guidance.

The guidelines make allowances for marriage break-ups.

In a statement she said: "My partner and I have been attempting to navigate a difficult personal situation as responsibly as possible. I apologise during that process we breached 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."

Ms Duffield, 48, has been extremely vocal against those not complying with coronavirus restrictions during the pandemic, urging people not to travel to second homes and criticising visitors to Whitstable beach at the start of the pandemic.

She tweeted at the time: ""This is a DEADLY virus - stop spreading it to my vulnerable constituents!!!"

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