Having Covid marshals on the streets will be like "going through airport security where we are badgered and directed", Wycombe MP Steve Baker has said.

The former Conservative junior minister has spoken out on the plan to introduce marshals in towns and city centre to make sure social distancing rules are being followed, saying he is "not willing to live like this".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think it is now time to say that this is not a fit legal environment for the British people.

"It's time to move to a voluntary system - unless the government can demonstrate otherwise.

"And it is time for us to actually start living like a free people, not subjecting ourselves to constantly shifting legal requirements, which I think now no one can fully understand.

"It seems to me the effect of having Covid marshals will be to turn every public space in Britain into the equivalent of going through airport security where we are badgered and directed... I'm not willing to live like this."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the public and the government want to see stronger enforcement of the rules.

The Wycombe MP has previously spoken out about "draconian" lockdown rules - in May he described them as "absurd, dystopian and tyrannical".

And in the Commons on Thursday he said "increasing numbers of reasonable people have a mounting sense of alarm about the government’s response to coronavirus", and asked for a debate on "liberty and the rule of law under the government's coronavirus response".

Acting leader of the house Stuart Andrew said in response: "I know that my honourable friend is a passionate advocate for civil liberties and has made that point on many occasions in this House.

"I will certainly raise that request for a debate with my right honourable friend the Leader of the House."

It comes amid reports that ministers are divided over new social distancing rules in England which will limit social gatherings to groups of six people both indoors and outside from Monday.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Friday that senior Tories also want younger children to be exempt from the so-called "rule of six" in England, while the Daily Mail claimed Health Secretary Matt Hancock was the only Cabinet minister on Boris Johnson's coronavirus strategy committee to support the plan at a meeting on Tuesday, the day before it was announced by the Prime Minister.