"taking this photo was foolish, and I apologise"
A Birmingham councillor has apologised for being “foolish” after a photo appeared to show her breaking Covid-19 guidelines.
Saima Suleman is a Labour councillor for Hall Green North.
She was pictured taking a selfie with six friends at a Birmingham restaurant, in breach of government guidelines.
The photo showed seven people sitting at the same table.
Current government guidelines state that no more than six people, or people from two separate households, can gather at a table inside at any one time.
Meanwhile, up to 30 people can gather together outside.
Councillor Suleman posted the picture to Facebook, with the caption:
“Great to finally be able to meet up with my beautiful friends for the first time since the first lockdown.”
She has now apologised for the breach.
She claimed that there were in fact two separate tables booked at the restaurant and that she had only visited the neighbouring table to take a photograph.
In a statement, she said: “I met with a group of friends for a meal and we booked two separate tables as there were 11 of us in total.
“The photo I posted on Facebook was a selfie of me with the group sat at the second table, which I took before then sitting back at my own table.
“I now realise that taking this photo was foolish, and I apologise for this.”
The breach comes shortly after it was revealed that Birmingham was placed on a government watchlist due to the increasing number of cases of the new variant, known as Delta, in the city.
One health expert said that the 45% rise in cases was a “quite significant” increase.
In addition, the growing number of cases across the UK has also raised concerns over the country’s roadmap out of the pandemic.
June 21, 2021, was meant to be the date when all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on June 2, 2021, that it was “too early” to make a decision on if the final lockdown restrictions would still be lifted on that date.
In relation to Councillor Suleman, a spokesperson said that no complaints had been received regarding the incident.
A number of other councillors have been accused of breaking Covid-19 rules throughout the pandemic.
In one case, Leeds councillor Arif Hussain broke rules to go to a party in June 2020.
He later apologised on BBC Radio Leeds.