Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called for clarity on the government’s rumoured “air bridges” with other countries to avoid the need for quarantine after travel. The government has suggested to journalists in recent days that it would be releasing a list of countries which would be exempt from quarantine rules but has yet to do so officially. This morning media reports suggested that the Prime Minister’s father has travelled to a holiday home in Greece in defiance of UK and Greek travel rules.
Speaking in the House, Mr Carmichael said:
“The BBC have been reporting that there will be an announcement today or before the end of the week of the list of countries to which “air bridges” are to be established. I hope that the Leader of the House will ensure that when that announcement is made it is made here first. Can I say to him that it might be an announcement that could be made by the Prime Minister who could then explain his view on the fact that his father has jetted off in defiance of the guidance to Greece. It may be that he needed an eye test or something like that, but I think we would all welcome an explanation.”
Responding, the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees Mogg MP said:
“It says somewhere in the Bible that the sins of the father will be visited on the sons but I don’t remember it ever being the other way around, so I think the Honourable Gentleman is really fishing desperately to make any criticism of the Prime Minister in that regard.
“As regards to the countries that we may or may not have on a list, information is given to Parliament when Parliament is sitting. Parliament isn’t sitting tomorrow so I can’t promise there will be a statement when the House isn’t sitting.”
Reacting after the exchange, Mr Carmichael said:
“The Prime Minister may not be responsible for the sins of his father but he is supposed to be responsible for our country’s Covid-19 policy. With the government whispering about relaxing travel rules this week without ever confirming its policy perhaps it is no wonder that the PM’s father felt he could do as he pleased, but there cannot be a different set of rules depending on how well you know Boris Johnson.”