Boris Johnson says not wearing a mask next to David Attenborough was a “judgmental” call

Boris Johnson writhed on CNN when asked why he did not wear a mask next to David Attenborough

Boris Johnson writhed on CNN when asked why he did not wear a mask next to David Attenborough (Photo: CNN / EPA)

Boris Johnson looked uncomfortable when asked why he was not wearing a face mask while sitting next to Sir David Attenborough.

The Prime Minister received widespread criticism for not covering his face in the main auditorium at COP26 in Glasgow on Monday.

He was accused of not doing enough to protect the national tax, 95, with Covid transmission still high across the country.

Johnson, who himself nearly died of the virus during the initial shutdown, said it was ‘a judgmental call’ whether he should wear a mask or not.

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This is despite the rules in Scotland, which still require mask use for adults in most indoor public places.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour raised the controversy during a sit-down interview with Mr Johnson on Tuesday.

Asked why he was not wearing a mask, Mr Johnson paused briefly and looked confused before being encouraged by the anchor: ‘It was all over the place. You did not wear a mask yesterday as you sat next to a 95-year-old national treasure. ‘

Johnson then replied, ‘I have worn a mask in enclosed spaces with people I do not normally meet.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a sign he called the 1.5 sign during the Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment event at the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on 2 November 2021. - World leaders meet at COP26 climate summit in Glasgow will issue a multi-billion dollar pledge to stop deforestation by 2030, but that date is too far for campaigners who want action faster to save the planet's lungs.  (Photo by Evan Vucci / POOL / AFP) (Photo by EVAN VUCCI / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has said that humanity was below 5-1 at the break in the fight against climate change (Image: Getty)

‘I think it’s up to people to decide whether they are at a reasonable distance from someone and whether they are with someone they do not normally meet. That is the approach we are taking. ‘

Conservative MPs have been repeatedly criticized for not wearing masks in the Commons chamber since the rules in England were relaxed in July.

Some covered their faces during last week’s budget after weeks of dewormed MPs sitting very close to government benches.

It is no longer mandatory to wear facewear anywhere in England, although it is still recommended in crowded public places.

Both Mr Johnson and Mr Attenborough spoke at the opening of the COP summit on Monday.

British TV station and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, second left, 95, sits next to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, listening during the opening ceremony of the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday 1 November.  2021. The UN Climate Summit in Glasgow brings together leaders from around the world, in Scotland's largest city, to present their vision for tackling the common challenge of global warming (AP Photo / Alberto Pezzali)

David Attenborough was also seen not wearing a mask next to the Prime Minister (Photo: AP)

Sir. Attenborough was also seen not wearing a mask in places during the event, and Mr Johnson had been masked earlier in the day.

But it was the prime minister who received the most criticism, with many of his political opponents particularly vocal.

The singer from the indie band The Charlatans, Tim Burgess, tweeted: ‘If you can not make yourself wear a mask while sitting next to 95-year-old David Attenborough, then how can you say that you clean actually love other people? @BorisJohnson you should really be ashamed ‘

Doctor and author Rachel Clarke added: ‘When you sit next to 95-year-old Sir David Attenborough and you * still * may not be inclined to wear a mask.’

Actor and comedian Adil Ray tweeted the image with the sarcastic caption: ‘Here is our Prime Minister “leading by example” by sitting without a mask on a global stage in the middle of a pandemic, next to Sir David Attenborough, who is 95 years old. ‘

Johnson has returned to London after the end of the two-day leadership event that opened the summit.

He said last night that he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ that a crucial agreement to curb global warming would be agreed at the COP.

Delegations from dozens of countries will remain in Glasgow to continue the negotiations, and Mr Johnson told them that ‘the eyes of the world’ will be on them.

Back in London, Westminster has introduced stricter measures in Parliament following evidence of increased transmission among staff and MPs.

MORE: Joe Biden says it’s a big mistake ‘, China and Russia did not attend COP26 climate summit

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