The scientist whose analysis pushed Boris Johnson to put the U.K. into lockdown has resigned from his advisory role after the Telegraph reported he’d broken social distancing rules to meet a woman.
Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, led the team that produced a model in March showing deaths from coronavirus would shoot up and overwhelm the health service without a lockdown.
He said Tuesday evening he had “stepped back” from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which has been guiding the British response, on Tuesday evening. Its members are under increasing pressure over their advice, with the U.K. death toll now the highest in Europe.
“I accept I made an error of judgment and took the wrong course of action,” Ferguson said in an emailed statement. “I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks. I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing.”
More coronavirus coverage from Fortune:
—The Rebuild Program: A project to help small businesses reopen amid a pandemic
—Saving lives vs. saving the economy is a false tradeoff, economists say
—States can’t access emergency COVID-19 election funding because of steep match rates
—Unemployment claims are taking some states weeks to process. What to know
—Inside China’s reopening: 7 personal stories of life after lockdown
—How to play live pro sports in a pandemic? Taiwan, South Korea offer lessons
—Work from home, online grocery shopping, cord cutting: What coronavirus trends will stick
—PODCAST: How Marc Benioff is helping out during the coronavirus pandemic
—WATCH: Fortune’s top 10 heroes of the coronavirus pandemic
Subscribe to How To Reopen, Fortune’s weekly newsletter on what it takes to reboot business in the midst of a pandemic