Actor Laurence Fox has been criticised after posting a photo of himself wearing a mask exemption badge which he claims he bought on Amazon.
The actor-turned-activist, 42, who is vocally against government lockdown rules, appeared to suggest he could not wear a face mask as he suffered from anxiety.
Fox posted a selfie of himself wearing the lanyard, along with the caption: “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.”
The lanyard says “mask exemption” while the badge itself reads: “I am exempt from wearing a face covering.”
Fox’s tweet, which has been shared thousands of times, prompted an angry response from Twitter users with many branding him “selfish”.
Tory MP Simon Hoare tweeted: “I hadn’t realised that being a first class, ocean going, chateau bottled, nuclear powered p***k was an exemption from wearing a mask.
“What a selfish loathsome tool this man is’.”
One member of the public wrote: “Not sure at all why you (are) taking this stance Laurence but I think it’s disappointing.
“Let’s all get with the programme and not undermine the best efforts of the (government) and our people for doing the right thing. Try sending the right message out.”
Government rules on face masks mean people must wear them in public transport and in shops during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some people are exempt from wearing coverings on medical grounds – for example those with respiratory problems – however they are not required to carry proof of the exemption.
Government guidelines also state that police may take action against those who do not comply with the rules “without a valid exemption”.
Fox – who last year launched “anti-woke” political party, Reclaim – has been a vocal critic of the government’s coronavirus face covering rulings and social distancing regulations.
In November, he appeared to encourage people to gather in large groups and “hug” adding: “If the NHS can’t cope, then the NHS isn’t fit for purpose. Compliance is violence.”
That same month, Fox – who has two children with actor Billie Piper – tweeted that he’d rather “wash his hair” than have the coronavirus vaccine.