Laurence Fox was branded a ‘nuclear-powered p***k’ and ‘selfish, loathsome tool’ by a Conservative MP after he posted a photo of himself on social media wearing a coronavirus mask ‘exemption badge’ which he ordered from Amazon.
The actor and political activist, 42, who has repeatedly challenged lockdown restrictions, shared the photo on Twitter on Friday beneath a post in which he appeared to mock people who wear face masks.
He was seen wearing a badge which read ‘I am exempt from wearing a face covering’. In smaller letters, it added: ‘Be kind. Keep your distance. Thank you for understanding.’
Mr Fox wrote above the image: ‘After a long period of consultation with myself, an extended review period and proper due diligence conducted with myself, I’ve received the badge that I ordered from Amazon. Thank you for being there for me. #anxiety’.
His tweet, which has since been shared thousands of times, immediately sparked criticism, with one person saying they were ‘disappointed’ in the star and another demanding to know, ‘What’s your excuse for putting me at risk?’
On Saturday, Tory MP Simon Hoare, who is also chairman of the Commons’ Northern Ireland Select Committee, savaged Mr Fox when he weighed into the row.
He wrote: ‘I hadn’t realised that being a first class, ocean going, chateau bottled, nuclear powered prick was an exemption from wearing a mask. What a selfish loathsome tool this man is’.
Laurence Fox has shown himself wearing a coronavirus exemption badge which he ordered from Amazon
A pack of two of the ‘badges’ similar to the one Mr Fox showed off is on sale on Amazon for £11.
Rules on face masks include that they must be worn on public transport and in shops and supermarkets.
Some people don’t have to wear one if they have a valid exemption, such as it causing them severe distress or because of a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability – and they do not have to carry proof.
One critical user earlier responded by saying: ‘Not sure at all why you are taking this stance Laurence but I think its disappointing.
‘Lets all get with the programme and not undermine the best efforts of the govs and our people for doing the right thing.
‘Try sending the right message out.’
Another wrote: ‘I have severe lung fibrosis as a result of sarcoidosis. I’m extremely vulnerable to the virus.
On Saturday, Tory MP Simon Hoare, who is also chairman of the Commons’ Northern Ireland Select Committee, savaged Mr Fox when he weighed into the row
The actor and political activist, 42, who has repeatedly challenged lockdown restrictions, shared the photo on Twitter on Friday
‘I have l limited lung function but wish everyone would wear a mask, like I do whenever I go out. What’s your excuse for putting me at risk?’
However, one supportive user said they had bought a pack of 4 masks for £13 from Amazon and said they had ‘annoyed the mask zealots’.
Another branded his post ‘superb’.
It comes after Mr Fox tearfully branded the Government ‘a disgrace’ for shutting schools earlier this month after a new national lockdown was imposed.
Mr Fox, who recently set up political party Reclaim, was choked with emotion as he said he thought kids deserved an education.
And he said it would reduce children’s opportunities and questioned if they would soon forget what ‘school was for’.
Mr Fox’s post has since been ‘liked’ nearly 2,000 times and has been retweeted by more than 600 other Twitter users. But some people in the comments were critical of the Lewis actor for sharing the image
However, one supportive user said they had bought a pack of 4 masks for £13 from Amazon
Mr Fox said: ‘I’m furious with the Government.
‘I don’t think our children deserve this and I think they are doing this for political reasons, sorry to be emotional.
‘I think they are doing it for political reasons, I don’t think they are doing it for the sake of our children and I think on principle, our children deserve an education they deserve it, it’s our duty to provide it to them at any cost.
‘We are taking out the liver of a young, healthy child and giving it to an old person or a vulnerable person.’
In November, he was criticised for having what he called a ‘large group’ of friends over for lunch – despite England’s lockdown rules then banning people from meeting indoors, or outdoors in groups larger than six.
Where do you have to wear a face covering in England under law?
Here is a list of where face masks must be worn in England. Some of the venues are closed under law:
- public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
- taxis and private hire vehicles
- transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
- shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
- shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
- auction houses
- premises providing hospitality (bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes), except when seated at a table to eat or drink (see exemptions)
- post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
- estate and lettings agents
- premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
- premises providing veterinary services
- visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, indoor sports stadiums, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
- libraries and public reading rooms
- places of worship
- funeral service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels)
- community centres, youth centres and social clubs
- exhibition halls and conference centres
- public areas in hotels and hostels
- storage and distribution facilities