Speaking on Sky News with presenter Kay Burley, he was asked why players and other football officials were able to avoid self-isolating when travelling into the UK for the Euros final on 11 July.
The elected official said: “We’ve always said that for some people who are important, players, for instance…”
Kay Burley responded: “So people who want to go on holiday are not important. Is that what you’re saying?”
He went on: “No of course not. We’re talking a very limited number of people who are coming in and they’re also subject still to quite significant restrictions.
“They’re not just able to travel around Britain. They come in to attend a match then go away again.
Another Briton said: “John #Whittingdale says it’s fine for “important” people (yes, he used that word) like #UEFA and #FIFA officials to come here and not be subject to quarantine to watch some #football.
“‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others'”.
“So do important people not carry Covid??” another asked.
One user claimed they were a “bit stunned” by the comments. “So holidaymakers are not important?” they asked.
Travel expert Simon Calder called the comments “bold assertions”.