Billy Bragg had a on-point come back after being asked why he was wearing a face mask this week.
The musician and activist posted that he was out for breakfast when someone asked him why he had a face cover on.
He responded: “Did you see those images from the House of Commons this week, showing a bare-faced government facing a mask-wearing opposition?
“I don’t want anyone in here to think that I’m a Tory.”
“Carnival, fraternal spirit”
The leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg said Conservative MPs don’t need to wear masks during debates because they know each other earlier this week.
He said the party’s “convivial, fraternal spirit” meant they were acting in line with government Covid guidance.
This guidance says people in England should cover their faces around “people you don’t normally meet”.
Tory MPs have largely ditched masks in recent months, but are being urged by opposition parties to wear them.
On Thursday, Labour’s shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire said MPs should wear face coverings to set the “best example to the public”.
But Mr Rees-Mogg responded that many Labour MPs had been pictured maskless at the the party’s recent annual conference in Brighton.
And he claimed they were more likely to cover up “when there are television cameras around”.
Set an example
The SNP’s Pete Wishart told Mr Rees-Mogg all MPs should set an example by wearing masks – and that the difference between the Tory and opposition MPs on the issue had become “comic”.
Mr Rees-Mogg joked that the SNP MP might not like “mixing with his own side” but the Conservatives “have a more convivial, fraternal spirit and therefore are following the guidance of Her Majesty’s government”.
Speaking on the BBC’s Question Time programme, Conservative vice chairman Andrew Bowie acknowledged that his fellow Tory MPs had been criticised for not wearing masks in Parliament but said the situation with Covid had looked “very different” in the first weeks of autumn.
He said MPs had “a responsibility to set the tone and set an example” and that he was “encouraged” to see more of his colleagues wearing masks in the House of Commons.
“It’s about leadership”
Professor Robert West, a health psychologist advising the government as part of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (Spi-B), argued that MPs would set an example if they wore masks.
“Actually people who are ambivalent, it gives them a kind of excuse if you like, to say, ‘If they’re not doing it why should I do it?'” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One.
“It’s about leadership. And politicians often talk to members of the public and sports personalities and so on about setting a right example for the public and I do think it behoves them to do the same thing.”