PIERS MORGAN launched another blistering attack on Boris Johnson, accusing the prime minister of encouraging the public to break the lockdown through “absurdly reckless” leaks to the media.
Britons have been observing strict social distancing rules ever since Mr Johnson announced the UK wide lockdown on March 23. However, in recent days there have been increasing signs that people are no longer observing the curfew, as they take to the streets and parks to enjoy the warm spring weather and celebrated VE Day. This follows a rash of media headlines, pointing to a significant easing of lockdown restrictions next week, fuelling hopes that life is about to return to some resemblance of normality.
Mr Morgan, who is self-isolating after developing COVID-19 symptoms, took to Twitter to accuses the prime minister of needlessly endangering peoples lives through his mixed messaging.
The ITV presenter wrote: “FFS. My local park was absolutely rammed.
“Hordes of people sunbathing, having picnics, hanging out with mates & ignoring social distancing.
“The Prime Ministers absurdly reckless Happy Monday leaks to the press have broken the lockdown – how many more lives will that now cost?”
Many agreed with the prominent TV personality.
One wrote: “The government’s mixed messaging is to blame for this.”
While another commented: “Yes the Government have been reckless.
“But these people ignoring social distancing guidelines are morons in the extreme.”
A third said: “And in 2/3 weeks we will see the results.”
Number 10 has come under increasing criticism for its perceived mixed messaging about the curfew, as Boris Johnson prepares to make an announcement on Sunday outlining the road ahead for the country.
One of the governments own scientific advisers said the public were mistakenly being given a “green light” to abandon the lockdown.
“Its really unhelpful to have bits and pieces of information leaked,” a member of the Sage advisory committee told the Guardian.
“Its incredibly damaging. If people are primed to look at things in a certain way, it will shape how they receive the information.
“So on Sunday they will be looking for the green lights and they wont notice the red lights.
“Its a really powerful way of influencing people.”
Ministers have been scrambling to try and dampen down expectations that the prime minister will announce major changes to the lockdown.
The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said any changes announced would be “modest, small, incremental and carefully monitored”.
He added: “As we enter another long bank holiday weekend I think the message is very clear: follow the guidance.
“There is no change today in the guidance or in the rules, but the prime minister will set out a roadmap on Sunday.”
Sunbathing, long walks and “unlimited exercise” are likely to be allowed, government sources hinted.
However, Downing Street dismissed any idea that there would be a major change to the current status quo.