SIR: As a doctor who since March 2020 has spent most of my professional life dealing with Covid, I was aghast to read the remarks by Stephen Brine, MP for Winchester and Dever Valley, criticising Prof Chris Whitty, England's Chief Medical Officer.

On December 15, Prof Whitty advised "Don't mix with people you don't have to" and suggested that everyone should 'prioritise' social events - mild and sensible remarks that most doctors would agree with. Yet in the House of Commons, Mr Brine said that "advisers are now running the show" and that Prof Whitty's answers "changed government policy and put this country into effective lockdown".

Doctors are all too aware that the Omicron variant of Covid could well overwhelm the NHS this winter. Prof Whitty is a public servant whom most of the public trust and listen to - like very few politicians. His reply was: "From the very beginning, the very first chief medical officer in the 1850s, chief medical officers have always given advice to the general public".

Surely in the present situation we need his balanced and reliable advice more than ever. Mr. Brine is an ex-health minister. He should be ashamed of his comments.

Dr David Murdoch,

Wonston Road,