Professor Neil Ferguson will not face further action by police after accepting he made an “error of judgment” by breaching social distancing rules despite being a key figure in influencing the lockdown.

Scotland Yard criticised his behaviour as “plainly disappointing” but ruled out issuing a fine because he “has taken responsibility” after resigning as a key Government adviser in the coronavirus response.

The researcher, whose work was crucial in Boris Johnson’s move to enforce strict conditions, stood down from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) after allowing a woman to visit him at his London home.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Imperial College London professor had made the “right decision to resign” but that it was a matter for police to decide whether to take further action.

Scotland Yard said: “We remain committed to our role in supporting adherence to Government guidance and have made it clear that our starting position is explaining the need to follow the regulations with anyone who is in breach in order to keep people safe and protect the NHS.

“It is clear in this case that whilst this behaviour is plainly disappointing, Professor Ferguson has accepted that he made an error of judgment and has taken responsibility for that.

“We therefore do not intend to take any further action.”

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