Police pay visit to Wigan gym boss who has defied England's lockdown

Police have paid a visit to a Wigan gym which has defied England's lockdown by staying open.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 3:39 pm
Updated Friday, 6th November 2020, 3:41 pm

Officers visited Majestic Gym, in Pemberton, to speak to director Kevin Harper who has said he will "refuse to obey the tyranny."

They asked him what time he would be open to and whether the council had been in contact with him.

Mr Harper replied by saying he was open for classes until 9pm and that the council had "strongly advised" him not to be open. He then went on to praise the police, saying he "loved the police" and "is not known to the police."

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Inside Majestic Gym Wigan

He also said he will be appearing on TV breakfast programme Good Morning Britain.

Companies face a £10,000 fine if they refuse to comply with restrictions ordering the closure of pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, gyms and all non-essential retailers.

Sharing his exchange with the police on Facebook, he urged people to share the video, saying: "Please share this video. It proves the Government are lying. The police are the backbone of the country and big up and respect to our 999 officers."

Speaker to the PA News Agency previously, he said he was standing up for what he believes is right.

He said: “The Government really needs to think about the position on this.

“I don’t have a criminal record, I’m not known to the police, I’ve never been in trouble with the law, and I’m being criminalised for doing what I think is standing up for what I believe is right, and also protecting the rights of my members, who are paying members, to come and exercise.”

He said since the gym reopened in July there had been no incidents of illness and regulations had been followed.

He added: “The factory next door have got more workers than we’ve got members and they have no implications and no restrictions placed on them, however my industry is set to close.

“The benefits of this industry for mental health, particularly at this time of year when you are looking at suicide rates, are unbelievable.”

He also said the gym is cleaner and safer than any supermarket, fast food outlet or anywhere else that is allowed to stay open.

While he said they temperature test ever single person on entry, and that since it reopened, nobody has failed the check out of 3,500 visits.

Several businesses across the country which have defied the new laws have also referenced the Magna Carta, the peace treaty signed by King John and rebel barons in 1215, declaring the monarch and the government would not be allowed to behave above the law.

However, only four of its 63 clauses are still valid in law today, and clause 61 is not one of them.

On Radio Five Live, a gym owner from Greater Manchester called Jayne told The Emma Barnett Show her studio had been open for exercise classes on Thursday.

She said: “I don’t believe it is lawful to say to somebody ‘shut your gym’ when it helps people.

“Fitness is helping the NHS.”

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, who was also on the programme, said the force would support local authorities to enforce the restrictions.

He said: “We recognise the impact this has had right across the North West and beyond.