Forest MP slams new face mask rule as “monstrous imposition”

desmond swayne face masks
Sir Desmond is not a fan of wearing face masks while shopping

NEW Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne today launched a stinging attack on the government’s new rules which will require the wearing of face masks in UK shops.


Speaking in the House of Commons today (Tuesday), the Conservative member called the decision a “monstrous imposition” after saying: “Nothing would make me less likely to go shopping than the thought of having to mask up.”

He questioned whether the government had consulted police before making the decision which officers would have to enforce “against myself and a number of outraged constituents”.

New Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne

In reply, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “The balance in the need to restrict the spread whilst also allowing the ancient liberties of the gentleman to go shopping was a difficult balance to strike, and the best way to strike it was to allow the gentleman to go shopping but require him to wear a face mask.”

He added that although enforcement would be carried out by police, he envisaged the British public also playing their part.

The government formally announced today that from 24th July face masks will be mandatory for customers in shops and supermarkets.

Those who fail to comply will face fines of up to £100. Children under 11 and those with medical conditions are exempt. Retail staff are also not bound by the new rule.

Masks have been compulsory on public transport and at NHS sites since 15th June.



  1. I cannot see the problem. We have not long returned from Portugal after four months. In Portugal, Spain and France it has been compulsory to wear a mask in all shops and markets since first lock down.
    Adrian P.

  2. Whilst we are all making sacrifices to keep ourselves and others safe Mr Swayne shows a selfish disregard for anybody but himself. His comments are an insult to the many constituents who have suffered during this pandemic or lost loved ones, and to the heroes who work tirelessly in the National Health Service and care sector. The man is an embarrassment to the people of the New Forest.

  3. This is really not about saving poor Mr Swayne from feeling cross when he goes shopping. It is about stopping the spread of a terrible and frightening disease which has already claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people in Britain including many of his constituents. Disgusting show of selfishness and showing off from this MP who has achieved little as an elected representative in the New Forest, but is now a minor celeb because he is aping Donald Trump’s weird cronies.

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