TORY Sir Desmond Swayne has criticised the Government for forcing people to wear face masks in enclosed spaces and “go about like Darth Vader” without there having been a vote on the matter.

Asked what is so bad about wearing a mask, the New Forest West MP told Channel 4 News: “I think it is frightful. I think it is awful having to cover your face and go about like Darth Vader. I mean, I just think it is horrible, many people do.

“But that is not the point. The point is you told me that I must wear a mask and I’ve never had the democratic legitimate right to ask you the counter case and vote upon it in Parliament through my elected representatives.”

On whether older students should be wearing masks at school, he added that “teachers should have the discretion to determine what happens at school”.

The general secretary of the National Education Union, Kevin Courtney, replied: “Sir Desmond Swayne says we shouldn’t tell people what to do but it is right to have seat belts in cars and to make people wear them, it is right to have helmets on motorcycles.

“And if the science says that mask-wearing will prevent the spread of the virus, prevent the cases going up, prevent more unnecessary deaths, then it is absolutely right for the Government to say that you should wear them.”