Evening Standard Comment: Local authorities are out of step on Parkrun | Speaker’s fury

·1 min read
Participants stretch ahead of the 5km parkrun around Hyde Park in Leeds (PA Archive)
Participants stretch ahead of the 5km parkrun around Hyde Park in Leeds (PA Archive)

Out of step on Parkrun

Twelve thousand people a day at Ascot. Fifteen thousand at the Wimbledon final. But parkrun, the running event that would boost health amid a virus that disproportionately affects the overweight? Delayed until at least July 24.

The absence of the event has been a running sore for months. The issue is about gaining permission from landowners, much of which was contingent on the lifting of restrictions.

This is a nonsense. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has rightly called on local authorities to get this sorted.

Outdoor exercise is not only one of the safest activities one can do, it is also crucial for our long-term recovery from the pandemic. Parkrun must return.

Speaker’s fury

Yesterday, the Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, denounced the Prime Minister for announcing the extension of Covid restrictions at a press conference with two medics rather than before Parliament.

As Tory MP Peter Bone observed, it is contrary to the ministerial code not to make policy announcements of this gravity to Parliament first. Sir Lindsay said that Downing Street had told him that the Prime Minister would be in Brussels. This was not true. Sir Lindsay was furious; rightly so.

All MPs should take this slight seriously because it suggests Johnson’s attitude to Parliament is dismissive at best. Instead of the PM subjecting himself to questioning by MPs, Matt Hancock made a statement after the announcement.

This is no way to treat Parliament, and Sir Lindsay should continue to say so. The Government must treat Parliament with respect, and enable MPs to hold ministers to account.

Read More

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