Labour MP Stephen Kinnock told off by South Wales Police online over ‘non-essential travel’

Stephen Kinnock. Picture by House of Commons (CC BY 3.0)

Aberavon Labour MP Stephen Kinnock has been told off by South Wales Police online after he travelled to his father’s house to celebrate his birthday.

The son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock posted a message saying that he and his wife, former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, had made the journey.

He tweeted: “Dad turned 78 today. Incredible, but true. Helle and I took a couple of chairs over, and sat in their front garden for a socially distanced celebration. As you do. Happy birthday, mate.”

South Wales Police replied: “Hello Stephen Kinnock we know celebrating your Dad’s birthday is a lovely thing to do, however this is not essential travel. We all have our part to play in this, we urge you to comply with UK Government restrictions, they are in place to keep us all safe. Thank you.”

 

Travelling

Stephen Kinnock later responded: “I felt that this was essential travel as I had to deliver some necessary supplies to my parents. I stayed long enough to sing ‘happy birthday’ to Dad, and then I was off. All the best, Stephen.”

The social distancing rules introduced by the Welsh Government mean that individuals will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities and supplies, which should be as infrequently as possible;
  • One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of their household;
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot reasonably practicably work from home.

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John Ellis
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John Ellis

No exceptions, eh?! ‘Be they ever so mighty …’!

Hogyn y Gogledd
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Hogyn y Gogledd

Not clear from the article.

How far did they drive?

Jason Evans
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Jason Evans

According to another news source Kinnock Jr travelled from Aberavon to London to deliver essential supplies to Kinnock Snr in London ?!?!

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

Morale of the story: don’t post about everything you do or you might get a telling off. No one else needs to know.

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Necessary supplies = two chairs?

Glen
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Glen

Probably paid for by taxpayers.

Laurence Perham
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Laurence Perham

He also said he was delivering food, please read it all. If it had been just chairs then I agree it’s not essential.

Roger
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Roger

The essential food that travelled over 150 miles was a birthday cake with candles, a curry and a crumble oh and presumably the two chairs

Plain citizen
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Plain citizen

We need to be very careful here about the intrusion we are allowing the authorities into our lives. The shaming by Derbyshire constabulary of a lone walker miles from anybody in the Peak district who posed no conceivable risk was despicable, as was this treatment of Kinnock. What have the police achieved by these comments apart from illustrating the Jackboot tendencies of people given too much power who then look for ways to wield it to enhance their own self importance?

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

I think what probably annoyed the heddlu was that he publicised the fact on social media, and set a bad example. The offence itself was relatively minor, although no-one in my family would have done it. If the claim of delivering essential supplies is a truthful, one, I’d like him to confirm that by showing the receipts (which he will say he has lost).

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Ti’n sinig!

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Dim o gwbl, John. Just felt it was thoughtless arrogance to publicise the alleged birthday visit/mercy dash in these difficult times.

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

I also thought it was reckless of him. I’m on the side of the rozzers on this one.

Jay Son
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Jay Son

Some do get carried away. Like here. But also the coppers can too. Mind privilege and jackpots alike : https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/bakery-employee-confronts-police-officer-after-threat-of-fine-for-putting-safe-queuing-marks-on-pave-1.498565

Jay Son
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Jay Son

*jackboots

Helen Lewis
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Helen Lewis

The police need to think about the rationale underlying all these restrictions. Kinnock endangered no one by going to see his dad. I’d do the same if it were mine. It’s physical distancing that’s important; they need to concentrate on that.

Shakesvshav
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Shakesvshav

Where is the concept of “essential travel” in the regs? See reg 6 for the restrictions: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/350/pdfs/uksi_20200350_en.pdf

Jonathan Edwards
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Jonathan Edwards

No, that’s England

P ap I
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P ap I

He was in Port Talbot 4 days ago. Rules around essential travel are clearly not meant for him!!!

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Since that’s his constituency, shouldn’t we assume that it’s where he lives?!

Kerry Davies
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Kerry Davies

He obviously has a London home like all MPs and his parents fall neatly into the ranks of the “vulnerable”. As long as no-one has symptoms then supporting elderly relatives and ensuring they have adequate supplies is perfectly acceptable under HMG guidance.
That’s the trouble with policemen with too much time on their hands, they make a flippant comment that makes them look heartless/stupid/incapable of reading government instructions.

Colin Mann
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Colin Mann

Stephen Kinnock is an MP. Perhaps his brain is wired in the same way as those other MPs who sat on the front bench of the House of Commons the other day ignoring their own social distancing rules. Several of them now have Covid-19. Not even MPs are immune – what a surprise!