A Lincolnshire MP said proposals forcing people to wear face masks “just don’t make sense for Lincolnshire”.
Stores across Lincolnshire have been preparing to mask up after the government announced that it will become compulsory to wear a face covering while out shopping.
People will have to wear mask in shops from July 24 or face a £100 fine.
However, Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, said “forcing people to wear face masks isn’t the business of the Conservatives” who are “not an authoritarian party”.
He said: “Enforcing wearing of face masks might make sense in Leicester or other hot-spots, fair enough.
“But one-size-fits-all solutions need to face the scrutiny of democratically elected representatives.”
Forcing people to wear face masks isn't the business of Conservatives: We are not an authoritarian party.
And don't we want to get people back into the shops? These proposals just don't make sense for Lincolnshire.
— Sir Edward Leigh MP (@EdwardLeighMP) July 15, 2020
Our rate of infection is quite low in Lincolnshire.
Enforced wearing of face masks might make sense in Leicester or other hot-spots, fair enough.
But one-size-fits-all solutions need to face the scrutiny of democratically elected representatives. pic.twitter.com/wPUaNgFZA3
— Sir Edward Leigh MP (@EdwardLeighMP) July 16, 2020
He said in a speech in the House of Commons that they need “more democracy and less authoritarianism from this government”.
His views on face masks caused a stir on Twitter, with over 500 people commenting, including Tom King who said: “As far as I can tell COVID is a disease that can affect anyone. So why would you not do something that reduces the risks associated with people dying?
“No wonder we’re as far in this mess with people who have an attitude like yours, especially people running our country.”
A user with the Twitter handle @thekebble said: “Lincolnshire is fine with masks. Don’t be a dinosaur.”
Richard Short added: “Sir Edward, we’re forced to do all sorts of things; wear seatbelts, go to school, pay taxes. This is temporary and for the good of us all.
“Wear your mask in protest if you will but for goodness sake understand why we should do it.”
Dr Nicholas P George, Lord of Olney, said: “Just when I thought that you could not look any more ridiculous, you come out with this irresponsible comment.
“Having had my mother forcibly removed from Boston Pilgrim Hospital to a care home at outbreak, it is crucial we stop COVID-19 not only spreading, but second waving.”
However, not everyone was against the MP’s views with Michael Bond saying: “With you 100% and I’m a labour supporter and former Lincolnshire resident.
“Masks cause me panic attacks after after a very short time. Dreading being demonised from next week due to this insane guideline.”
‘@Warnzwifey’ said: “Totally unnecessary when people have been working since the outset without a need for one.
“This virus is dying out, no need for it now, all it will do is destroy the economy even more. People dying from non treatment, massive rise in suicides, recession coming, more death not virus.”