Stratford councillor who slammed Boris's bike ride cycles 30 mile round trip across London

Newham's young councillors - Mariam Dawood, Nilufa Jahan, Genevieve Kitchen, Joshua Garfield and Nar

Councillor Joshua Garfield - Credit: Rhiannon Long

A councillor who criticised the prime minister for cycling to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has taken a 30-mile round trip across London - by bike.

Cllr Joshua Garfield had branded Boris Johnson's trip "unnecessary" in the Recorder following the controversial ride seven miles from Downing Street.

In a social media post he described it as "recklessly irresponsible".

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Cllr Garfield describes the prime minister's bike ride as "recklessly irresponsible". - Credit: @JoshuaGarfield

But the Labour Party representative of Stratford and New Town ward enjoyed his own bike ride to Wandsworth three days after the comments in the Recorder.

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Three days after sharing the Recorder's story about Boris Johnson cycling at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Cllr Garfield reported cycling 30 miles. - Credit: @JoshuaGarfield

Government guidelines state people must “stay local” when exercising during lockdown.

Cllr Garfield said: “Exercising outdoors is one of the few ways to maintain physical and mental health during lockdown.

"As a matter of precaution, I stick to the roads and cycle superhighways to avoid contact with anybody else, as all cyclists currently should.

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"Unlike the PM, I don’t have a garden, security detail, or justify advisers taking 400 mile round-trips when they have Covid symptoms.

"I will continue to exercise cautiously and encourage Newham residents to do the same,” he added.

Cllr Garfield had requested Mr Johnson avoid "unnecessary trips across the capital" in the Recorder story, advising him to use one of the Royal Parks "on his doorstep". 

Strava screenshot

Cllr Garfield's route across London. - Credit: Strava

However, the councillor, who stood against James Cleverly MP in Braintree in the 2019 general election, skirted Hyde Park during his own ride.

He also passed through the South Bank and Battersea Park, according to a map published on the fitness app Strava.

In a social media post he commented: "Cycled 30 miles today", accompanied by a video clip of a man collapsing from exhaustion to the floor.

John Oxley, chairman of West Ham Conservatives, said: "I'm glad that seeing the prime minister ride through the borough inspired Cllr Garfield so much.

"The law does not limit how long you can take exercise for, and everyone should balance the risk of the virus against their own needs, and not decry what other people should and shouldn't be doing within the rules."

James Rumsby, who chairs Newham's Liberal Democrat Party, said: "Although there seems to be uncertainty around the law on the distance from home in which people can exercise, elected representatives with influence in our community should be setting an example. 

"Mr Garfield was concerned about Boris Johnson cycling into our community, only for him to cycle to another community even further away. 

"Not only that, but he publicised his cycle journey on Twitter, which no doubt could influence his followers to do the same. 

"While Liberal Democrats are out supporting our community, he is out enjoying a 30 mile bike ride and publicising it."

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