"Hussain recognised immediately how serious his actions were."
A Leeds councillor broke lockdown rules by attending a party. He has now apologised for his actions.
It was alleged that Labour member Arif Hussain went to a party on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Councillor Hussain has represented the Gipton and Harehills ward since 2007.
On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, he told BBC Radio Leeds that he was “sincerely sorry” for his actions.
He said: “It was a breach of the lockdown rules and it should not have happened.
“I apologise to all the residents of Leeds who are enduring lockdown with such good grace and to everyone who is working so hard to keep people safe and our public services running.”
Following the incident, Councillor Hussain has stood down as chairman of a local area committee and could now face disciplinary action from both the Labour Party and the authority.
The council’s Labour leader Judith Blake condemned the breach of lockdown rules. She told a press conference that she was concerned by an increase in people breaking the rules generally.
She explained: “Councillor Hussain recognised immediately how serious his actions were.
“He’s apologised to us as the council and made a broader apology to the public
“I think the action we’ve taken is a very strong message that we expect everyone to abide by the regulations.
“It’s up to all of us to keep repeating what the regulations are.
“Clearly we’ve seen something of a breakdown in adhering to the regulations over the last couple of weeks.
“We are disappointed in that and the risk that could present to the public.”
On whether she herself had abided by the lockdown rules since the end of March, Councillor Blake said:
“Yes, I’ve been working from home and I haven’t done anything else.
“It’s very hard. I have my mother in a care home. I have very young grandchildren who I miss. These are things we’re all having to face.
“But we know how serious this is and it’s up to us to come together and keep repeating those messages.”
On June 1, 2020, the lockdown rules were eased further in England. One rule change was that people can now spend time in outdoor areas in groups of six from different households.
This includes private gardens, however, they must stick to the two-metre distance rule.
People cannot stay overnight at another house and should avoid going inside the property.