Downing Street says it will ‘partially reveal’ experts on SAGE group ‘shortly’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, alongside Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty (left) and Ch

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, alongside Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty (left) and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance (right) during a press briefing on coronavirus. Photograph: Simon Dawson/PA. - Credit: PA

Some of the names of the scientists who have been advising the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) will be published 'shortly', the government's chief scientific adviser has said.

Sir Patrick said only the experts who are 'happy to have their names published' would be made public, as the prime minister returned to Downing Street pledging 'maximum possible transparency'.

He told a briefing for science journalists that the identities of the experts are usually revealed after an emergency is over.

However, he added: 'But I believe that we should be more prepared to publish names sooner, and intend to do so shortly.

'So we will be publishing names of those that are happy to have their names published.'

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He added that the group would also be releasing a list of the documents, and eventually the documents themselves, that have fed into Sage meetings.

Senior Tory MPs joined Labour in calling for more openness on the committee's membership after the revelation of the presence of Johnson aide Dominic Cummings and Ben Warner, a data scientist who worked with him during the Brexit campaign.

Sir Patrick, who chairs SAGE, has previously argued that the decision not to disclose its membership was based on advice from the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure, which warned of lobbying.

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