Ryan Merrifeild – mirror.co.uk April 10, 2020
The Housing Secretary has again been accused of flouting lockdown rules by travelling from his London residence to his ‘second home’ in Herefordshire, days after he was also spotted visiting his parents.
Robert Jenrick has defended escaping 150 miles to his £1.1million mansion, where his family are staying, as the pandemic rages on.
This comes after he urged others to stay at home for “all bar the most essential activities”, and all travel to second homes was banned.
The cabinet minister said he and his wife Michal Berkner, a partner at City law firm Cooley LLP – and children consider the Grade I listed country retreat their family home and he had moved back there after he was no longer needed in Westminster.
Mr Jenrick also owns a £2.5million townhouse less than a mile from the Houses of Parliament while also renting a £2,000-a-month property in his Newark constituency – which he bills to the taxpayer.
He was previously forced to explain why he had been seen on his elderly parents’ front lawn, claiming he was delivering medication and other supplies.
Referring to him moving back to Herefordshire, Mr Jenrick told the Daily Mail his family “were there before any restrictions on travel were announced”.
“I have been working in London on ministerial duties, putting in place the system to shield the group most vulnerable to coronavirus and organising the response at a local level.
“Once I was able to work from home it was right that I went home to do so and be with my wife and also help care for my three young children.”
He added that he would be staying at the family home until Government advice changes or he is needed in Westminster.
Mr Jenrick, who is the minister responsible for local government, has spoken at the daily Downing Street press conferences and is key member of the Cabinet.
On Sunday, Dr Catherine Calderwood resigned her position as Scotland’s chief medical officer after she visited her holiday home twice during the coronavirus lockdown.