In his first interview since the photo was widely shared on social media, the prime minister was asked by CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour why he wasn’t wearing a mask when in such close proximity to a “national treasure” like Attenborough.
Johnson seemed momentarily confused as to what Amanpour was referring to and had to be told that it was “all over the place”.
After a brief awkward silence, Johnson said: “I’ve been wearing a mask in confined spaces with people that I don’t normally meet and I think it’s up to people to make a judgment on whether they’re at a reasonable distance from someone and whether they’re with someone they don’t normally meet. That’s the approach we take.”
The UK PM @BorisJohnson is in hot water after being pictured unmasked next to 95 year-old David Attenborough. I ask… https://t.co/xpWMCf7EqW
Elsewhere, in the interview, Amanpour also challenged Johnson on the easing of Covid restrictions in the UK, despite there still being a large number of cases compared to the rest of Europe. In response, the PM encouraged people to get a third dose of the vaccination.
Amanpour: UK has more covid than Europe
Johnson: I dispute that
Amanpour: Well the facts and the figures show it… https://t.co/0p7BwZDJ4D
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the prime minister said that ”the prime minister has abided by the COVID-19 guidance at COP26 throughout. Attendees and delegates are not required to wear a face mask when they are seated as per the COP26 guidance.”