Sir Desmond Swayne – who previously covered his face with blackface – hit out at the policy designed to protect other people around him in the supermarket
Speaking in the House of Commons, the MP – who once claimed it is acceptable to ‘black face’ at parties – said: “Nothing would make me less likely to go shopping than the thought of having to mask up.
“Was this consultation with the police force and particularly the chief constable of Hampshire, for it is she that will have to enforce this monstrous imposition against myself and a number of outraged and reluctant constituents?”
As Twitter users branded the Brexiteer ‘selfish’ and ‘irrelevant’, Hancock explained: “The balance in the need to restrict the spread of the virus, whilst also allowing the ancient liberties of a gentleman to go shopping, is a difficult balance to strike and we have made the judgment that the best way to strike it is to allow a gentleman to go shopping, but require him to wear a face mask.
“And of course, enforcement is for the police, but the enforcement, I think, will largely be undertaken by the British people themselves who have been remarkable in their fortitude, sticking with these rules even whilst they may be a frustrating imposition.”
Enough. @Conservatives @BorisJohnson – your insane decision on masks will be the death knell for economic recovery from your voluntary recession. Worst government in history. #BorisJohnsonMustGo #NoMasks #facemasks pic.twitter.com/Z6AvhG5P6N
— PTweeets #nomasks #KBF (@PTweeeets) July 14, 2020
Swayne was not the only unhappy Tory to react with anger to the news from the government.
Grassroots members cut up their membership cards as #NoMasks and the word “muzzles” trended on Twitter.
Supporters said the order – which will come into effect from July 24 and carries a maximum fine of £100 for non-compliance – is incompatible with their libertarian values.
Others claimed there is insufficient evidence to suggest that the measure has meaningful health benefits.