Three recent mobile phone mast fires around the UK are being investigated as possible arson, amid concerns that people are attacking telecoms infrastructure because of a conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to the spread of coronavirus.
The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, also revealed he had received threats relating to the “bizarre” theory, which has gained traction on social media.
Fire crews managed to get the fire under control quickly and were photographed parked outside the field shortly after it was extinguished.
Speaking at Saturday’s Downing Street press conference, cabinet secretary Michael Gove said the theories were “dangerous nonsense”. Professor Steve Powis, national medical director of NHS England, condemned them as “the worst kind of fake news”.
Social media posts from celebrities, such as the singer Anne-Marie, have helped spread the theory, while Amanda Holden, a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, shared a link to an online petition promoting the false rumour that the symptoms of coronavirus are caused by residing near a 5G mast.
The government is increasingly concerned about the impact of the spread of such false theories.
International radiation experts have repeatedly made clear that the new high-speed telephone system does not pose a risk to humans, while pointing out that the coronavirus has spread widely in many countries without any 5G coverage, such as Iran.