A curious omission, indeed, a glaring omission, has detracted from the BBC’s reporting of yet another Tory MP encountering difficulty sticking to the lockdown rules which his party put in place, and most likely for which he voted. The Isle of Wight’s Parliamentary representative Bob Seely has been caught attending a barbecue, and before the recent loosening of lockdown restrictions. He has come clean and owned up.has reported, “A Conservative MP has admitted he failed to follow lockdown guidance when he reportedly attended a barbecue. Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely went to an evening gathering at a journalist's home in Seaview on 22 May … Mr Seely said he and his girlfriend met the man for a work-related discussion and ate ‘half a sausage’, but did not enter the house or have a drink”. So he broke the rules, but only half of them.
His excuse? “When I arrived, I saw another couple of people there, which I was not expecting. I thought about leaving, but felt that was perhaps over-reacting. I apologise because, on balance, I called this wrong. It would have better to have spoken to this person without any others nearby”. But the journalist is not named in the BBC report. Nor are the “couple of people” who were also there. Why is this odd?
Well, the Beeb report is citing a piece in the Guardian, which certainly has named those involved - all of them. So the BBC could have done the same, but for some reason chose not to. And forget the “they weren’t important” excuse - they were, and appear to have been flouting the lockdown rules. Including one person we see on the BBC regularly.
So, without further ado, over to the Guardian. “The Tory MP spearheading efforts to promote the Covid-19 contact-tracing app trial on the Isle of Wight appears to have broken lockdown rules at a barbecue also attended by the chairman of the Brexit party and political journalists”. Chairman of the Brexit Party. That means Richard Tice.
Well, no she isn’t. “Tice and Oakeshott did not deny their attendance … Oakeshott is thought to have been staying last month at her nearby apartment in Seaview, a second home which she purchased in 2018. Government rules have stated that people must remain in their primary residence, specifying that essential travel does not include visits to second homes”. Ms Oakeshott was there, and, it appears, also broke lockdown rules.
“At the time of the gathering, lockdown measures had only been eased, on 13 May, to the point of allowing one person to meet one other from a different household in public outdoor settings as long as they stayed more than 2 metres apart … [on 12 May] the health secretary, Matt Hancock, stressed that people should not meet in a person’s garden”.
That looks like a nailed-on breach of lockdown rules, not only for Seely, but also for the man from the Speccy - plus Tice and Ms Oakeshott. But the BBC airbrushed them out.
Why would the Beeb do that? You might wish to ask that - I couldn’t possibly comment.