Plans by the British government to announce a further easing of lockdown measures are being overshadowed by an outcry over a senior aide accused of flouting restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson is standing by adviser Dominic Cummings, who drove 250 miles (400 kilometres) from his London home to his parents’ house while he was infected with the virus.
Johnson said Cummings acted out of concern for his 4-year-old son, but many Britons see it as a clear breach of the government’s national stay at home order.
Stephen Reicher, a social psychologist who sits on a group advising the government, said more people are going to die because the episode will undermine trust in government and adherence to the lockdown rules.
Bishop of Leeds Nick Baines said the public had been lied to, patronised and treated…as mugs.
The scandal shows no signs of dying down, with the conservative Daily Mail newspaper running the front-page headline What planet are they on? in reference to Cummings and Johnson.