James O'Brien clashes with caller who 'has an issue' with face masks

2 July 2021, 14:00 | Updated: 2 July 2021, 14:03

James O'Brien clashes with caller who 'has an issue' with masks

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien has clashes with this caller who "has an issue" with masks and welcomes them being made optional on 19 July - despite an increase in Covid cases.

The public will no longer be legally required to wear face masks from 19 July, Environment Secretary George Eustice has confirmed.

Coronavirus restrictions, including wearing face coverings in supermarkets and on public transport, are expected to be dropped on the final day of the lockdown roadmap.

James questioned this decision after the UK reported 27,989 Covid cases on Thursday, the most since late January.

Caller Lisa from Gravesend told James that she, unlike him, was happy masks are becoming optional.

"I do have an issue with wearing them," she said, "it's not because I'm stupid, it's for various reasons.

"I can't work from home. I work for a private company but we carry out work for a government organisation and that requires us to go to customer premises and go to sites and speak to various people.

"They are quite a serious impediment to communication."

James responded: "You know that everybody who wears them has to speak to people?"

Dr Susan Michie on how people should be wearing face masks

Lisa acknowledged this was the case, continuing, "We've been wearing them for the last fifteen months...and I'd noticed the extent to which we all rely on lipreading and I found it's really difficult to hear people. My job is all about communication, I interview people day in day out."

James replied "same here", to which the caller said, "But I need to speak to them face to face but you don't.

"I have spoken to lots of people that have said the same thing, when they meet people face to face...it's really easy to mishear what they say."

James pointed out that Lisa could hear him but could not see his lips.

Lisa said, "It affects my ability for me to do my job. My second point is I find wearing face coverings personally really uncomfortable and oppressive."

"Everybody does," James said, to which Lisa continued that she is menopausal, which James is obviously not, and she also suffers from a skin condition meaning she finds them uncomfortable.

"Everybody finds them uncomfortable and everybody talks with them on," James said.

Lisa said she is "wearing them when she has to" and looks forward to not wearing them "all the time" - although admitted she was not wearing it while on the phone to James.

More James O'Brien

See more More James O'Brien

Londoners to question the Mayor at annual State of London Debate with LBC

Londoners to question the Mayor at annual State of London Debate with LBC

Sacked borders watchdog David Neal said the Home Office is 'dysfunctional' and needs reform.

'It goes to the very top': Sacked border watchdog slams Home Office and calls for reform after Cleverly row

Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Sir Keir Starmer has defended comments he made about Margaret Thatcher earlier this month.

Starmer defends Thatcher comments as he says he ‘completely disagrees’ with former prime minister’s politics

A caller to James O’Brien’s programme has shared footage of the extraordinary destruction done to his newly purchased property just outside of Durham.

Property investor's shock at 'unexplainable level of damage' he discovered after buying new home

James Cleverly replaced Suella Braverman as home secretary on Monday

'I've spent more time with James Cleverly this week than with Suella Braverman in the last year', Sadiq Khan tells LBC

James O'Brien discusses Suella Braverman's 'destructionist' leadership style with a caller

'She's a destructionist': James O'Brien caller claims Suella Braverman governs like 'a five-year-old'

James O'Brien

'She definitely has something on him': Caller and James O'Brien debate why the PM hasn't sacked Suella Braverman yet

'A complete reset of the top' is needed says caller.

'We're being let down': There is a 'complete disconnection' between parliamentary and local Conservatives says caller

James O'Brien

'It's essential that people are able to protest peacefully against war', says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak 'almost physically moves away' from Suella Braverman in House of Commons debate, says James O'Brien

James O'Brien

'Suella Braverman succeeded - she's caused hate', claims caller after Home Secretary criticises pro-Palestine marches

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'A fish rots from the head': James O'Brien caller reacts to claims of misogyny in Downing Street during Covid Inquiry

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

'Ludicrous, bogus, nonsense': James O'Brien is astounded by Boris Johnson 'laughing at Italy' during the pandemic

James O'Brien on Dagestan

'It's a hatred as old as religion itself': James O'Brien analyses escalating anti-Semitism after Muslim crowd storms Dagestan airport

Carol Vorderman shocked about UK Poverty

'One million children are living in destitution': Carol Vorderman struggles to comprehend stark wealth inequality in the UK

Wes Streeting on dentistry

Wes Streeting invites the government to steal Labour's policy to solve 'dickensian' NHS dentist crisis

James O'Brien

'I think they're the loneliest voters in Britain', James O'Brien claims after Tories' double by-election defeat

JOB and caller Andy

Biden's visit to Israel is to show that the US stands 'unequivocally' with Israel says James O'Brien caller

JOB and Usman

Israel's current response will only 'strengthen' Hamas by rearing Gazans who seek revenge warns this James O'Brien caller

JOB on deaths in conflict

James O'Brien unpacks the 'controversial' feeling of being 'equally devastated' by Palestinian and Israeli deaths

JOB on starmer speech

Keir Starmer is using 'working class as the opposite of having a sense of entitlement', notes James O'Brien

JOB on HS2 promises

James O'Brien criticises Rishi Sunak's watering down of 'illustrative' Network North projects funded by HS2 cut

Sadiq Khan and James O'Brien

Sadiq Khan declares there is 'no place for anti-Semitism' in London as kosher restaurant in Golders Green attacked

James O'Brien on the challenge HS2 scrappage poses to Labour.

‘How much can Rishi Sunak knock down before Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister?, asks James O’Brien

James O'Brien

Rishi Sunak is like an 'incontinent cat': James O'Brien slams Tories ahead of PM's Party Conference speech

JoB and Jeremy Hunt

Navy veteran deeply hurt by Jeremy Hunt's plans to clamp down on benefit claimants

James O'Brien on Tory tactics in the upcoming election.

Tories desperately seeking wedge issues is the 'only way' they will retain power in 2024, says James O'Brien

James and caller Mervin on knife crime

'I'd prefer you to go to jail than die': James O'Brien is left aghast by this caller's father's stance on knife possession

James O'Brien

James O'Brien ridicules those prioritising Labour's private school VAT plans over the cost of living crisis

James O'Brien

'I mean this is a novel': James O'Brien hears why this caller blames Labour for HS2 problems

James O'Brien

James O'Brien takes aim at uninformed 'idiots' criticising Keir Starmer for not wanting to diverge from EU rules