UK's Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick defends delivering medicine to elderly parents

UK's Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick defends delivering medicine to elderly parents

The UK's Housing Secretary has defended visiting his elderly parents during the coronavirus lockdown, saying he was delivering items including medicines.

Robert Jenrick said he respected social distancing when he dropped off medicines and other essentials to his parents, who are self-isolating at their home.

While the British Government’s guidelines state you should not visit anyone who lives outside your own home, including elderly relatives, you are allowed to “leave your house to help them, for example by dropping shopping or medication at their door”.

On Thursday evening, The Guardian reported that a witness told the paper they saw Mr Jenrick visiting his parent’s Shropshire house at the weekend, which is 40 miles from his own.

Later, in a tweet, Mr Jenrick said: “For clarity – my parents asked me to deliver some essentials – including medicines.

“They are both self-isolating due to age and my father’s medical condition and I respected social distancing rules.”

He included a link to The Guardian story in his tweet.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reported that Mr Jenrick had travelled from his residence in London to a “second home” in Herefordshire during the lockdown.

The minister told the paper: “My house in Herefordshire is the place I, my wife and my young children consider to be our family home and my 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 and MP for Newark, 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.

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