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Politics

Jacob Rees Mogg spokesman defends him attending church after being accused of breaking Covid restrictions

by Cara Bentley

Jacob Rees Mogg MP is reported to have attended a service at St Mary's Catholic church in Glastonbury last Sunday, 15 miles from his house in West Harptree. 

Before the national lockdown came into force in England, the church was in Tier 4 while he lives in Tier 3. 

A spokesman for Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Mirror: “The Leader of the House regularly attends the only old rite mass available in the Clifton diocese which meets his religious obligations.”

People in all Tiers in England were allowed to attend church but separate guidance said people should not travel too far. 

The official guidance reads: "If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

The rules on worship state: "Communal worship and life events - You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony."

There was different advice around numbers at weddings and mingling in church between the tiers before the national lockdown. 

Many churches face the predicament of being just inside one tier but with the majority of their congregation less than a mile away in a separate tier. 

According to the Mirror, the priest of the church, Father Bede Rowe confirmed that the Leader of the House of Commons visited but said: "We are not allowed to speak to people before or after mass due to the Diocesan guidelines.

"All I know is that our churches are open and people can come to mass, you would have to speak to him about this."

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