Labour frontbencher no longer in role after admitting lockdown breach

A Labour MP is no longer in a frontbench role after she admitted breaking lockdown rules.

Rosie Duffield, MP for Canterbury, has apologised and is no longer a Labour whip after she met her partner while they were living separately, in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

The Mail on Sunday said that she met her married partner for a long walk in her constituency in April, and that the MP also did not deny he visited her constituency house.

Ms Duffield, 48, told the paper that the pair observed the two-metre social distancing rules, but these incidents were before meetings between people from different households was allowed.

The pair are now thought to be living in the same property and her partner separated from his wife.

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A couple play cards as people enjoy the sunny weather in Shoreditch Park in London on May 30, 2020, ahead of the coming into force of the first significant easing of Britain's lockdown measures during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain's Prime Minister has set out a gradual easing of lockdown measures in England, with socially distanced groups of six friends and families allowed to meet in parks and gardens from June 1. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 30: People enjoy the hot sunny weather on Brighton Beach on May 30, 2020 in Brighton, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
SHOREHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 30: People enjoy the hot sunny weather on May 30, 2020 in Shoreham, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 30: People enjoy the hot sunny weather on Brighton Beach on May 30, 2020 in Brighton, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 30: People enjoy the hot sunny weather on Brighton Beach on May 30, 2020 in Brighton, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
People play with a football as they enjoy the sunny weather in Shoreditch Park in London on May 30, 2020, ahead of the coming into force of the first significant easing of Britain's lockdown measures during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain's Prime Minister has set out a gradual easing of lockdown measures in England, with socially distanced groups of six friends and families allowed to meet in parks and gardens from June 1. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun seekers sit together on a bench as they enjoy the warm weather at Ruislip Lido in west London on May 30, 2020, as lockdown measures are eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out a gradual easing of lockdown measures in England, with socially distanced groups of six friends and families allowed to meet in parks and gardens from June 1. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman reads as people enjoy the sunny weather in Shoreditch Park in London on May 30, 2020, ahead of the coming into force of the first significant easing of Britain's lockdown measures during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain's Prime Minister has set out a gradual easing of lockdown measures in England, with socially distanced groups of six friends and families allowed to meet in parks and gardens from June 1. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
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A man jumps off a rock as sunbathers enjoy the sunny weather on Boscombe beach in Bournemouth, southern England on May 30, 2020, ahead of the coming into force of the first significant easing of Britain's lockdown measures during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain's Prime Minister has set out a gradual easing of lockdown measures in England, with socially distanced groups of six friends and families allowed to meet in parks and gardens from June 1. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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LOCH LOMOND, SCOTLAND - MAY 30: Members of the public enjoy the good weather, following Thursday’s announcement by Scottish Government of the easing the lockdown on May 30, 2020 in Loch Lomond, Scotland.Starting May 29, Scotland allowed groups of eight, from only two different households, to meet in parks or gardens. Meanwhile in England, groups of six from multiple different households can meet in public as of June 1. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Sunbathers enjoy the sunny weather on Boscombe beach in Bournemouth, southern England on May 30, 2020, ahead of the coming into force of the first significant easing of Britain's lockdown measures during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain's Prime Minister has set out a gradual easing of lockdown measures in England, with socially distanced groups of six friends and families allowed to meet in parks and gardens from June 1. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
LOCH LOMOND, SCOTLAND - MAY 30: Members of the public ride jet skis whilst enjoying the good weather, following Thursday’s announcement by Scottish Government of the easing the lockdown on May 30, 2020 in Loch Lomond, Scotland.Starting May 29, Scotland allowed groups of eight, from only two different households, to meet in parks or gardens. Meanwhile in England, groups of six from multiple different households can meet in public as of June 1. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Sunbathers enjoy the sunny weather on Boscombe beach in Bournemouth, southern England on May 30, 2020, ahead of the coming into force of the first significant easing of Britain's lockdown measures during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain's Prime Minister has set out a gradual easing of lockdown measures in England, with socially distanced groups of six friends and families allowed to meet in parks and gardens from June 1. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
People enjoying the good weather on the beach at Durdle Door, near Lulworth in Dorset, as the public are being reminded to practice social distancing following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sunbathers enjoy the sunny weather on Boscombe beach in Bournemouth, south England on May 30, 2020, as lockdown measures are eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out a gradual easing of lockdown measures in England, with socially distanced groups of six friends and families allowed to meet in parks and gardens from June 1. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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In a statement Ms Duffield said: "My partner and I have been attempting to navigate a difficult personal situation as responsibly as possible. I apologise that during that process, we breached the guidelines.

"A relationship breakdown is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic.

"I hope people can understand why I took the steps I did and know that I take responsibility for the breaches that occurred and for which I apologise."

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