Wednesday 6 May 2020 10:56 am

'A matter for police': Hancock 'speechless' over Professor Neil Ferguson's lockdown breach

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said it is a “matter for the police” over whether they take action over Professor Neil Ferguson’s breach of coronavirus lockdown rules. 

Hancock said Ferguson made the right decision in resigning last night, after it was revealed that the Imperial College epidemiologist and government advisor had broken lockdown restrictions.

Read more: Government scientist resigns after breaking lockdown to meet his lover

The health secretary said he was “speechless” over Ferguson’s “extraordinary” actions.

The Telegraph reported last night that Ferguson, who worked on research that prompted the government to introduce the lockdown, reportedly allowed a woman to visit him in lockdown while advising the public to socially distance.

On whether action should be taken against Ferguson over the breach, Hancock said “It’s a matter for the police”.

He told Sky News: “But I think the social distancing rules are very important and people should follow them.”

“Even though I’ve got a clear answer to what I think, as a minister, the way we run the police is that they make decisions like this,” he told the broadcaster. 

“So I give them their space to make that decision, but I think he took the right decision to resign.”

Ferguson last night admitted he had “made an error of judgement and took the wrong course of action”.

“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,” he told the Telegraph. 

Read more: Top scientists to review impact of UK coronavirus lockdown

“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.”

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