POLICING minister Kit Malthouse sparked virus panic in the Home Office after breaching Covid rules, it’s claimed.
Mr Malthouse, 54, took a test on his way to the office but did not wait for the result before going in. It later came back positive.
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Staff were forced to self-isolate and the Home Office’s HQ in central London had to be deep cleaned and the air vents changed, the Sunday Times reported.
It comes as:
- Covid fatalities in the UK drop by almost 80 per cent in a month
- The UK is on the brink of a jabs war with the EU amid fears the bloc will withhold 19million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine
- Boris Johnson plots to ramp up the UK's own vaccine production centres
- The PM faces a Tory rebellion on plans to extend the Coronavirus Act for a further six months
- Cops were pelted with bottles during an anti-lockdown protest in London
Mr Malthouse did not have symptoms and had taken a “precautionary” fast-acting test which delivers results within 30 minutes.
Government guidance says workers should remain socially distanced after taking a test until they receive the all-clear.
In January, Mr Malthouse said: “It seems preposterous that anyone could be ignorant of the rules.
“We are urging the small minority of people who aren’t taking this seriously to do so now.
“If you really care about getting out of this lockdown, economically, mentally, physically in good shape, we all absolutely have to grit our teeth and stick to the rules."
Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union which represents senior civil servants, said ministers are not exempt from the rules.
He said: “Everyone in a workplace owes a duty of care to their colleagues to ensure it stays Covid-secure.
“Given the significant health risks involved, reckless behaviour must have consequences and ministers cannot be exempt from that.
“As employees return to the workplace, they need to be able to trust that their employer is being open and transparent about the risks.
"Any failure to disclose an incident will only serve to undermine confidence.”
The Home Office said: “The policing minister is self-isolating with his household following a positive Covid test.
“This was a precautionary test as the minister had no symptoms. The minister promptly left the building.”
Last year, former Government advisor Dominic Cummings sparked outrage when he travelled more than 200 miles to Co Durham when his wife was ill with the virus.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick was also quizzed over a visit to his parents’ house in Shropshire despite urging the country to stay home.
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