UK scientist resigns after breaking lockdown rules to meet his married girlfriend

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Man sitting on bed. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)
Man sitting on bed. (Photo: Getty/Gallo Images)

A key expert in the UK’s coronavirus response has resigned from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) after admitting he made an “error of judgment”.

Professor Neil Ferguson lead the Imperial College London team, which produced the data that suggested 500 000 Brits could die of coronavirus without a rapid lockdown. It earned him the nickname “Professor Lockdown”.

However, he allowed Antonia Staats, who’s allegedly his lover and lives in a different house with her husband and two kids, to visit his home while advising the public to practise social distancing, The Telegraph reports.

"I accept I made an error of judgment and took the wrong course of action. I have therefore stepped back from my involvement in Sage,” Professor Ferguson told The Telegraph.

“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.”

Following the revelations, the 51-year-old resigned from his position as a government adviser, Metro reports.

His team's research prompted prime minister Boris Johnson to dramatically change government strategy in tackling the virus, with unprecedented restrictions imposed from March 23 in a bid to save lives.

Sources: The TelegraphMetroDaily Mail, The Sun 

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