TV presenter Gillian McKeith has come under fire for backing anti-lockdown protests in London.
On Saturday, thousands turned out to march in the capital in protest against the ongoing coronavirus restrictions in a demonstration that saw at least 36 people arrested.
McKeith, 61, lauded protestors in a series of tweets, with one reading: "It is time to stand up. And London has finally come through. London takes back freedom. Proud to be a Londoner...."
Read more: Carol McGiffin criticises COVID restrictions
— Gillian McKeith (@GillianMcKeith) March 20, 2021
Another post saw the TV nutritionist call to "end the lockdown" as she wrote: "They have come in their THOUSANDS. London has woken up from a deep slumber. NOW it is time to demand freedom. #londonprotest #EndTheLockdown."
The messages were condemned by many on social media, with one remarking: "This is not about personal freedom, Gillian, it's about collective responsibility.
This is not about personal freedom, Gillian, it's about collective responsibility. Any one of these people could be carrying the virus, passing it to people next to them, and taking it home to their families. What about others' freedom to stay well? What about our NHS?
— Jan Bird (@pictureladyjan) March 20, 2021
"Any one of these people could be carrying the virus, passing it to people next to them, and taking it home to their families. What about others' freedom to stay well? What about our NHS?"
Responding to McKeith posting images of crowds as the protest, another commented: "I’ll likely die if I get the virus so I’ve been shielding for a yr now, completely alone. Do we really live in such a hateful country that so many medically vulnerable peoples’ lives are that expendable? Every single person I see in these crowds tells me that they want me dead."
A tweet from the official account of rock band The Subways also read: "Our right to survive this global pandemic is more important than your sixth-form-level misapprehension of what ‘freedom’ means.
"The dangers are real. It’s simple. Grow up. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Get vaccinated. Then you get the ‘freedom’ to be an a******e all you like."
Figures for Saturday 20 March showed 96 people had died with 28 days of receiving a positive COVID test, while a further 5,587 new positive cases were recorded.
Over 140,000 people in the UK have died with COVID-19 listed on the death certificate.
A road map out of the restrictions laid out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the earliest all restrictions in England could be lifted is 21 June.
Other famous faces praising the protest included Laurence Fox who was in an attendance as well as Right Said Fred who posted a picture of the march, hashtagging it: "Lockdowns don't work."
Watch: Laurence Fox attends anti-lockdown protest