04 June 2021

Anger at ‘one rule for him’ treatment of Michael Gove after Covid alert following Portugal trip

04 June 2021

Shadow sports minister Alison McGovern has criticised the fact Government minister Michael Gove will not have to self-isolate in the same way ordinary fans must after the Champions League final.

Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, had gone to Porto with his son to watch the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City last weekend.

He was alerted by the NHS app that he may have been in contact with someone who had Covid-19, with reports suggesting that contact may have occurred on the flight back to the UK after last Saturday’s match.

Shadow sports minister Alison McGovern has criticised what she sees as favourable treatment for Michael Gove (PA Archive)

However, rather than self-isolate for 10 days as would normally be required, Gove will be able to take part in a pilot scheme for workplaces, which includes No 10 Downing Street, where he can instead be tested every day for a week.

McGovern said: “Doesn’t that sound like one rule for him and one rule for everybody else?”

McGovern pointed out that the apparent inequality had also been raised by Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley during an interview with Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on Friday morning.

He asked the minister: “Forgive my cynicism, but you talk about caution – how is it that your cabinet colleague Mr Gove has been pinged on track and trace and yet, like the rest of us, he doesn’t have to isolate, he’s just doing tests?”

Jenrick replied: “I haven’t spoken to Michael so I don’t know all the details exactly but it sounds like the system worked. He’s taking part in a pilot, as I understand, where people can have slightly different circumstances.

Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley, asked Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick about Michael Gove's situation on Friday morning (PA Archive)

“But I’m sure he’s going to take all of the necessary precautions, he’s not been coming into the office.”

Madeley said: “It strikes many people as a very convenient pilot scheme which we all can’t take part in, that’s all. One rule for you and one for us.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is participating in the daily contact testing programme after being advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

“He has followed Covid-19 regulations and guidance at all times and will continue to do so.”

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said it was aware of instructions to self-isolate being issued to supporters travelling on at least four separate flights.

“Safety is a priority, yet it is disappointing that when supporters should be celebrating, they will be forced to isolate,” a CST statement read.

“It’s frustrating that supporters have again been made to suffer through UEFA’s absurd decision to hold the final abroad when the Covid risk was so high.

“The CST will continue to support our members & CFC supporters where possible.”

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