The policing minister failed to explain whether gyms in Greater Manchester would be allowed to stay open under the tier 3 restrictions coming on Friday – which led to a discussion about his own workout routine.
“I am a PureGym member, and until a few months ago I was in the gym in the morning. It’s always a struggle to stay fit, particularly given my lifestyle,” said the Tory MP.
Ms Burley smiled and said: “Some might to say you need a refund.”
Mr Malthouse replied: “Oh well, I’ve got to work at it. It’s a constant battle … kind of you to inquire after my health.”
The Sky News presenter had asked whether the minister knew if gyms would stay open in Greater Manchester. “I don’t think gyms can [stay open] – I’m not entirely sure, but then I don’t live in Manchester,” said Mr Malthouse. “I would go and check on the regulations.”
The government has not forced gyms in Greater Manchester to close under the imminent tier 3 curbs, and gyms across the Liverpool city region, also given tier 3 status, will be allowed to re-open this Friday.
When Ms Burley suggested the MP was wrong about gyms and asked if the rules were “confusing”, Mr Malthouse replied: “Well it’s not confusing if you go and check, right? I can’t know every particular area.”
"Why are you being told as MPs to gang up on @MarcusRashford over free school meals?"@kitmalthouse: "I don't think it's necessarily ganging up, it's standard practice during any debate for political parties to issue briefs with suggested lines." JJ#KayBurley pic.twitter.com/f2Dsr7hYOg
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) October 22, 2020
Ms Burley also asked the minister why Tory MPs had been told to “gang up” on Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford by party whips over the star’s campaign to extend free school meals during the school holidays.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily ganging up,” said Mr Malthouse. “It’s standard practice during any debate for political parties to issue briefs with suggested lines.”
MPs rejected a plan to extend free schools by 322 votes to 261, after only five Conservatives rebelled and voted with Labour on the issue.