Top SAGE scientist who advised Boris Johnson on lockdown quits after breaching rules to meet woman

Professor Neil Ferguson quit SAGE after breaking lockdown guidance (PA Images)
Professor Neil Ferguson quit SAGE after breaking lockdown guidance (PA Images)
20:27pm, Tue 05 May 2020
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A top scientist whose research guided Prime Minister Boris Johnson to put the country on lockdown has resigned from SAGE after flouting his own advice to meet a woman.

Professor Neil Ferguson quit the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies after admitting an ‘error of judgment’.

The leading epidemiologist from Imperial College said on Tuesday that he regretted ‘undermining’ the continued need for social distancing to tackle coronavirus after it was claimed he broke the rules.

The Telegraph reported that he allowed a woman to visit him at home in London on at least two occasions during the lockdown.

I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing

Prof Ferguson’s research with Imperial colleagues warned that 250,000 people could die in the UK without drastic action shortly before the Prime Minister imposed the restrictions.

Prof Ferguson said: “I accept I made an error of judgement and took the wrong course of action. I have therefore stepped back from my involvement in Sage.

“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. The Government guidance is unequivocal, and is there to protect all of us.”

A Government spokesman confirmed Prof Ferguson’s resignation.

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