Minister: Professor who broke lockdown rules was right to quit SAGE

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Security Minister James Brokenshire has told talkRADIO it was right that a scientist who flouted his own lockdown advice has stepped down from the government’s advisory group.

Professor Neil Ferguson allowed a woman, said to be his “lover”, to visit him at his London home at least twice while social distancing measures were in place, the Telegraph reported.

His research with Imperial College London colleagues had aided Boris Johnson’s decision to impose the lockdown back in March.

He last night resigned from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) after admitting an “error of judgment”.

The epidemiologist said: “I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus, and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms.

“I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic.”

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Brokenshire said Professor Ferguson had “taken the right course of action” by standing down.

The Conservative MP stressed that social distancing requirements “still very firmly remain in place”.

“We’re seeing the impact that [social distancing] has had and it’s important that at this point in time we continue all of those restrictions,” he said.

Boris Johnson is expected to outline the “roadmap” to taking the UK out of lockdown by the end of this week.

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