Partial list of Sage membership released: Who are the experts advising the government on how to ease lockdown?

A list revealing some of the members of the group which is advising the government over the coronavirus outbreak has been published.

Names of some members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has been released by the government following pressure from campaigners demanding transparency over how coronavirus decisions are made.

The group's membership had been kept secret up to this point on security and independence grounds, however individual members had been able to disclose their participation.

Sage is a group of experts providing scientific and technical advice to support decision makers during emergencies.

Membership changes based on the expertise needed to address the crisis the country is faced with.

The government has been receiving advice from Sage twice a week since the first meeting on coronavirus on January 22 - it is the group advising ministers on when to relax lockdown restrictions.

The government website revealing the Sage membership said the list includes "names of participants who provided input as experts at one or more meetings, including public servants who acted in an expert capacity".

The website added how meetings are "also regularly attended by officials from Her Majesty’s Government. These attendees have not been named".

It said permission to publish names was requested from all participants and those who did not give permission have not been named.

Members of Sage have been appearing at government coronavirus press conferences since they began. Credit: 10 Downing Street

Those on the list include well known names such as England's Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Valance and England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty.

Others on the list are Prof Whitty's deputies Dr Jenny Harries and Professor Jonathan Van Tam, and Public Health England medical director Professor Yvonne Doyle.

Last Saturday it was revealed the prime minister's top aide Dominic Cummings had attended "some meetings".

That sparked calls from opposition MPs for the membership of Sage to be released because, as Labour's shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said, "ministers have repeatedly claimed timing of lockdown was based on science".

In response to Mr Cummings attending meetings, a former government chief scientific adviser assembled a group of experts to look at how the UK could work its way out of coronavirus lockdown.

Sir David King, who worked under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, created the board to emphasise the “importance of transparency”.

Commons science and technology committee chairman Greg Clark welcomed the publication of the Sage list.

The Conservative MP said: “I strongly welcome the commitment to transparency made by Sage in publishing the names of the members.

“This was something my committee called for in order to provide public reassurance that Government decisions are informed by a broad and substantial body of expert advice.”

The partial list of sage membership:

  • Sir Patrick Vallance - Government Chief Scientific Adviser

  • Professor Chris Whitty - Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health and Social Care

  • Professor John Aston - Chief Scientific Adviser, Home Office

  • Professor Wendy Barclay - Imperial College London

  • Professor Phil Blythe - Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Transport

  • Professor Ian Boyd - University of St Andrews

  • Professor Andrew Curran - Chief Scientific Adviser, Health and Safety Executive

  • Dr Gavin Debrera - Public Health England

  • Professor Sir Ian Diamond - National Statistician, Office for National Statistics

  • Professor Yvonne Doyle - Medical Director, Public Health England

  • Professor John Edmunds OBE - iLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

  • Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar - Director, Wellcome Trust

  • Professor Neil Ferguson OBE - Imperial College LondonDr Aidan Fowler FRCSNational Health Service England

  • Professor Julia Gog - University of Cambridge

  • Dr David Halpern - Behavioural Insights Team, Cabinet Office

  • Dr Jenny Harries OBE - Deputy Chief Medical Officer

  • Dr Demis Hassabis - Personal capacity as a data scientist

  • Professor Peter Horby - University of Oxford

  • Dr Indra Joshi - NHSx

  • Professor Dame Theresa Marteau - University of Cambridge

  • Professor Dame Angela McLean - Chief Scientific Adviser, Ministry of Defence

  • Professor Graham Medley - London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

  • Professor Andrew Morris - University of Edinburgh

  • Professor Carole Mundell - Chief Scientific Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

  • Professor Cath Noakes - University of Leeds

  • Dr Rob Orford - Welsh Government

  • Professor Michael Parker - University of Oxford

  • Professor Sharon Peacock - Public Health England

  • Professor Alan Penn - Chief Scientific Adviser, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

  • Professor Steve Powis - National Health Service England

  • Dr Mike Prentice - National Health Service England

  • Mr Osama Rahman - Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Education

  • Professor Venki Ramakrishnan - Ex Officio as Chair of DELVE, convened by the Royal Society

  • Professor Andrew Rambaut - University of Edinburgh

  • Professor Tom Rodden - Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

  • Professor Brooke Rogers OBE - Kings College LondonDr James RubinKings College London

  • Professor Calum Semple - University of Liverpool

  • Dr Mike Short CBE - Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for International Trade

  • Dr Gregor Smith - Scottish Government Chief Medical Officer

  • Professor Sir David Spieglhalter - University of Cambridge

  • Professor Jonathan Van Tam MBE - Deputy Chief Medical Officer

  • Professor Russell Viner - University College London

  • Professor Charlotte Watts - Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for International Development

  • Professor Mark Walport - UK Research and Innovation

  • Professor Mark Woolhouse - University of Edinburgh

  • Professor Lucy Yardley - University of Bristol

  • Professor Ian Young - Northern Ireland Executive

  • Professor Maria Zambon - Public Health England