Kwasi Kwarteng grilled by Nick Ferrari on UK funeral rules
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Nick Ferrari invited Kwasi Kwarteng on his show to discuss the Dyson lobbying scandal and the Government’s handling of the pandemic. As the conversation moved toward Prince Philip’s funeral, Mr Ferrari pointed out an inconsistency in government rules where only 30 people may attend a funeral but thousands may be able to attend football games or travel next month. The funeral rules are not due to change until June as Mr Ferrari said things didn’t add up in a tense clash with the Business Secretary.
Speaking on LBC, Mr Ferrari discussed the Daily Mail’s front page which urged the Government to change the limit on funerals after seeing the Queen sit alone during Prince Philip’s send-off.
Currently, only 30 people can attend funerals and are required to maintain social distancing.
The radio host asked whether Mr Kwarteng was going to take action on the issue.
He said: “Absolutely, it was a very difficult issue Nick and you remember on Saturday that ceremony was conducted with such grace and dignity.
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“But yes it is a very difficult thing to say goodbye to loved ones in a very restricted environment but we do have a duty to keep the virus suppressed.”
Mr Kwarteng said the Government is making progress on tackling the pandemic but said politicians are always reviewing data and policies.
But an angry Nick Ferrari attacked the minister and said: “So thousands of people could go to the FA Cup semi-final or to the Crucible to watch the snooker.
“I can get on a plane and sit someone I’ve never met – I know with tests – and I can sit in a pub garden with someone behind me who I have never met.
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“But I can’t go to my auntie’s funeral, explain how that works.”
Mr Kwarteng stumbled and said there would always be questions to the rules but Mr Ferrari interrupted stating he knew the minister well but things did “not add up mate”.
He added the minister “knew it was wrong” and urged the Government to change its mind.
But the Business Secretary answered frankly that Mr Ferrari would challenge him no matter the decision including relaxing the rules and stuck to his guns.
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Some MPs and members of the public have called for a change in funeral rules following images of the Queen sitting alone at her husband’s funeral being released.
Funeral directors have also joined forces to challenge the funeral restrictions which they say have denied over 750,000 people from attending the ceremony.
From May 17, the limit of attendees at wakes will increase from 15 to 30 but funeral numbers will remain the same until June.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announce 50 mourners can attend funerals in Scotland from April 26 as the country moves down to level three restrictions.
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