A senior Coventry councillor who was filmed flouting social distancing rules at a large gathering which was broken up by police is being investigated by the city council.
Cllr Tariq Khan, Labour councillor for Foleshill, was filmed shaking hands and hugging people, receiving a garland and posing for photos before saluting to the camera.
Games of volleyball were also filmed being played at the gathering.
Police were called to the incident at Edgwick Park in Foleshill, on Sunday, August 23, amid concerns social distancing was not being adhered to.
The cabinet member for communities and housing is yet to respond to media enquiries.
Coventry Labour party group leader Cllr George Duggins is also yet to respond on the incident and if any action will be taken by the group.
However the city council has publicly condemned the rule breach.
A spokesman said: “The council has been made aware of the video, which clearly shows breaching of public health guidance by a cabinet member.
“As a public health body, the council condemns this behaviour and urges everybody to follow the rules and guidance which are in place to limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and keep people across the city as safe and well as possible during these challenging times.”
The city council, leader and Public Health have made numerous pleas in recent months urging members of the community to abide by social distancing rules to help restrict the spread of Covid-19.
Just last week the city council reminded residents to adhere to guidelines on social distancing, masks and hand-washing.
In August, warnings were issued in the CV6 area – incorporating Foleshill – after a rise in Covid-19 cases, with a walk-in testing facility opening in Broad Street in response.
Cllr Khan was absent from a full council meeting today (September 8).
The incident was mentioned at full council by Cllr Glenn Williams, who asked the cabinet member for public health whether the involvement of a councillor in such a gathering “undermined the message of this council” and meant he “should resign his position in the cabinet” – although Cllr Khan was not named directly.
Cllr Kamran Caan, cabinet member for public health, did not answer the question directly, but replied: “Covid-19 is very serious and it’s very important that we work together and continue to maintain a clear message that we can help our community by protecting each other and staying alert and making sure we stop the spread. There’s very clear guidelines.”
A West Midlands Police spokesman added: “We were called to a report of a large group of people in Edgwick Park, Foleshill Road, Coventry at about 7.45pm on Sunday 23 August. There were concerns that social distancing was not being adhered to.
“When officers attended they found that there were several groups playing volleyball. We are patrolling the park regularly with officers attending both during the day and in the evenings.”
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