Richard Madeley: Wearing a mask is 'not a personal judgement’
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Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said it’s “personal judgement” whether people wear a mask but Richard Madeley questioned how this is possible if certain businesses or shops insist on mask-wearing. The pair clashed over the latest government guidelines on Good Morning Britain with Madeley tearing into the Housing Secretary over his stance on the issue.
“It’s a total shambles isn’t it?” Madeley asked.
Jenrick replied: “No I don’t accept that Richard. As a result of the vaccine roll out, we’re able to move into a new phase and that’s one where we exercise our own personal judgement.
“Organisations and transport operators like TfL or the Tram here in Wolverhampton where I am this morning will come up with their own judgement as to what is appropriate for their setting.”
“But that’s not personal judgement,” Madeley hit back.
Jenrick continued: “The public can and will reach sensible judgements. If you’re on a closely packed tube train or tram going from Wolverhampton to Birmingham, then it makes perfect sense to continue wearing a mask.
“If you are on an empty train then I think people will come to a different judgement and think, ‘There’s nobody around me, therefore I don’t need to.’”
“I’m sorry Minister but I do need to pull you up on this,” Madeley cut in.
“It’s not a personal judgement. If I get on the tube in London, it’s not my personal judgement on whether I’m going to wear a mask, I’ve got to wear a mask.
“I’m being told to by the authorities on the tube, on the bus, in the taxis.
“If I’m in Manchester I’m going to have a wear a mask there by decree. It’s not my personal choice.
“I’m sorry we don’t have personal choice. If you want to shop in Waterstones or Sainsbury’s you could say it is my personal choice as to whether I cross the threshold.
“But if I do, I don’t have a personal choice on if I wear a mask. They are going to make me wear one.
“It is not personal choice anymore. The freedoms you claim your government has given us to not wear masks has been completely eroded by corporations and by mayors.”
“No I don’t think that’s fair actually, you will be able to exercise your personal judgement,” Jenrick argued.
“But also, businesses and those people who operating public transport networks will make judgements on what’s right for their setting.”
Viewers were divided on Twitter with some annoyed mask wearing was even up for debate.
“I think what he’s trying to say is government are washing their hands of it and if all goes wrong it’s our fault!” one viewer argued.
Another commented: “For once I agree with Robert. Personal responsibility. They can’t do right for doing wrong.
“I can’t think of ONE incident where they’ve made a decision that @susannareid100 hasn’t criticised. If your not responsible enough to make your own decisions then it’s on You, not Boris.”
A third shared: “I won’t be going in any shops or businesses that don’t respect my choice not to wear a mask! Life has to get back to normal for the greater good! That was the whole point of spending billions on a vaccine!!!”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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