POLITICS
01/09/2020 10:15 BST | Updated 21/10/2020 11:20 BST

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace Apologises For Breaking Social Distancing Rules With Handshake

Downing Street said the minister "will be extra careful in future".

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has been forced to apologise for breaking social distancing rules, after he was filmed shaking hands with someone.

Footage of the handshake on Tuesday morning was captured by Sky News as MPs returned to Westminster for the new term of parliament.

Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said: “The defence secretary recognises the mistake and apologises for slipping up.

“He knows the importance of social distancing and will be extra careful in future.”

In April Wallace revealed he had spent time self-isolating after developing coronavirus symptoms.

Wallace is not the first cabinet minister to be caught breaking the government’s coronavirus rules.

In June, health secretary Matt Hancock was filmed slapping a colleague on the back in the Commons chamber.

Hancock, who suffered from coronavirus symptoms in March, later said he was “so sorry for a human mistake on my part”.

The prime minister himself infamously boasted on March 3 of having shaken hands “with everybody” he met in a hospital which had a confirmed coronavirus case.

On the same day the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) body had told ministers they should “advise against greetings such as shaking hands” in an effort to curb the spread of the illness.

Johnson later developed coronavirus symptoms and was taken to intensive care in a London hospital.