A woman who claims her human rights are being infringed by new laws on face masks has faced a huge backlash.
Leah Butler-Smith, who refuses to wear a face covering, appeared on ITV’s This Morning and suggested that the government are "brainwashing" the public.
Speaking to hosts Rochelle Humes and Ore Oduba, Butler-Smith said not wearing face masks is something she feels "incredibly passionate about."
She said that she is in fact "so passionate about it, I have put together a demonstration this Sunday. That is not something I have never done before”.
She added: “Under the umbrella of Keep Britain Free, people have come together through our deep concerns of the harms we're seeing caused by lockdown and the mask-wearing mandation was just the tipping point for all of us.
"I saw their reactions and responses and I put out a tweet. It went viral and it went from there. During the day, we had even more arriving once they saw Sky TV broadcasting live."
On her Twitter account - using the hashtag #KeepBritainFree - Butler-Smith, of Chelmsford, Essex, wrote: “Our poll has shown that over 87% of people will not be wearing a mask in shops from today. It’s time our voices are heard. Write to your MP and demand for the Government to drop ‘mandatory’ face coverings.”
However, viewers were quick to condemn Butler-Smith and took to social media in anger.
Elizabeth Scott wrote: “What a clown! I don't mind people choosing not to wear masks, but to be encouraging protests and potentially spreading the virus around is downright selfish!”
Another viewer commented: ““#ThisMorning you should not be giving airtime to this side of the argument! Wear a mask or don't go shopping/get someone else to go for you. It isn't just government advice, it is medical advice too!”
— Jon Wallis (@Astraea1974) July 24, 2020
And Jon Willis said: “It would be really helpful if dangerous imbeciles like Leah weren’t given airtime on television. Shame on @ITV #ThisMorning.”
Use of face masks became compulsory in shops in England from Friday for everyone over the age of 11 except those exempt due to underlying health conditions.
Police and local authorities have the power to fine people £100 for not complying with the new legislation but many shops, including most major supermarkets, have said they will not enforce the use of face masks on shoppers, however they will request customers follow the rules.
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