Neil Ferguson’s lockdown lover Antonia Staats is seen out in public for first time since the married mother-of-two cycled across town for secret tryst with government coronavirus adviser
- Antonia Staats, 38, pictured returning to £2 million home in South West London
- First public outing since her secret trysts with Neil Ferguson were revealed
- Visit him twice during lockdown while lecturing the public on social distancing
- Imperial College professor has since quit his post on Sage committee
The last time Antonia Staats travelled any distance during lockdown, it was to cycle across London to ‘illegally’ call on her lover, Professor Neil Ferguson.
But yesterday, seen in public for the first time since their tendresse was revealed, the married mother-of-two was on a decidedly less thrilling mission – to buy pot plants and compost at a garden centre.
At least this time it had the advantage of being state-sanctioned. The German-born campaigner, 38, was pictured – car key in her mouth – on her return to the £2 million home she shares with her academic husband, Dr Christopher Lucas, in South West London.
Antonia Staats, 38, was pictured for the first time since her secret trysts with ‘professor lockdown’ Neil Ferguson were revealed
Garden centres have become the first businesses allowed to reopen to the public since the Government shut down non-essential shops.
Prof Ferguson, 51, allowed Ms Staats to visit him at home during the lockdown on at least two occasions last month while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing.
Flouting lockdown rules can be punished with a fine, or even arrest. However, while Scotland Yard criticised Prof Ferguson’s behaviour as ‘disappointing’, a spokesman said he had ‘taken responsibility’ by standing down from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which is advising Ministers on the pandemic.
Professor Neil Ferguson – who led the team that helped to convince ministers to introduce strict rules on social distancing – breached them himself by meeting his married lover
She was seen on her return to the £2 million home she shares with her academic husband, Dr Christopher Lucas, in South West London
Ms Staats grew up in Isny im Allgau in southern Germany, went to university in Berlin and came to London to obtain a masters in Asian politics from the SOAS, where her husband works.
Ms Staats herself works for Avaaz, a global online activist network.
Avaaz – meaning ‘voice’ in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages – says its mission is to ‘close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want’.
Two weeks before Britain was quarantined, she and her colleagues had their own message for the public: ‘Stay at home.’
Everyone, the group declared, should ‘avoid unnecessary close contact’.