The coronavirus-era phenomenon of weekly public applause for medical workers has taken a less positive turn, as opponents of Britain’s Conservative government have called on followers to indulge in a public shaming ceremony.

Plans to give opponents of the government a chance to vent their frustration in a united public show of “hate” — an emotion invoked by many in their writings about the plan online — has metastasised on social media, apparently in response to the prime minister’s decision to stand by the pro-Brexit special adviser Dominic Cummings.

Mr Cummings acting as a flashpoint for anti-government “hate” underlines the way attitudes towards the 2016 Brexit referendum still acts as the greatest faultline in British politics — even during coronavirus. As a guarantor within the government for Brexit being delivered as promised — and having only recently thwarted a plan to delay Brexit again, cooked up while he and Mr Johnson were incapacitated with the virus — Mr Cummings has made himself plenty of enemies.

Twitter blue-tick anti-Brexit musician-comedian Vikki Stone — cited by local news media as instrumental in setting up the idea of launching a ‘Boo for Boris’ — told the Derby Telegraph that the fact Mr Cummings was not resigning was “beyond what is acceptable”.

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