England’s chief medical officer (CMO) Professor Chris Whitty who advises the government has been criticised for exceeding his authority.
Tory MP Joy Morrissey accused Professor Whitty in a tweet, which has since deleted, of exceeding his authority and offering different advice to Boris Johnson during a press conference.
The MP tweeted, “Perhaps the unelected Covid public health spokesperson should defer to what our ELECTED Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister have decided.
“I know it’s difficult to remember but that’s how democracy works. This is not a public health socialist state.”
Will Hutton, a political economist and writer defended Professor Whitty and said the criticism was “surreal and disgraceful.”
Hutton wrote in a tweet, “In the real world we all heed what he says. Contemporary Conservatives are unfit to govern.”
Morrissey’s tweet was in response to Professor Whitty urging Brits to scale back any Christmas plans as the Omicron wave it tearing through the country and will increase the risk of infection.
Johnson said at the time, “We’re not cancelling events, we’re not closing hospitality, we’re not cancelling people’s parties or their ability to mix.
“What we are saying is think carefully before you go. What kind of event is it? Are you likely to meet people who are vulnerable, are you going to meet loads of people you haven’t met before? And get a test.”
Former Health Minister Steve Brine MP blasted, “At a stroke the CMO changed Government policy and put this country, certainly hospitality, into effective lockdown.”
However, Downing Street has defended Professor Whitty and said he is hugely respected and a trusted civil servant.
Greg Smith MP accused the scientific advisors of pressing the panic button beyond what MPS voted for in the House of Commons.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told MailOnline, “I think [Professor Whitty] has been clear that he provides advice and it is rightly for ministers and elected politicians to decide.
“He has been a hugely trusted and valued part of our pandemic response and continues to be so.”