The Prime Minister is facing continued calls for clarity over the “confusing” lockdown measures as he made his first House of Commons statement since lockdown began.

Boris Johnson was accused of risking lives by changing the public messaging around the restrictions from “Stay at Home” to “Stay Alert”, despite the new measures not being adopted by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Last night the Prime Minister defended ditching the “Stay at Home” slogan for England following a wave of criticism from his political opponents, insisting: “Stay alert is absolutely the right message for our country.”

Asked by a member of the public about conflicting statements from the UK and Scottish governments on the future of lockdown, Mr Johnson said: “Let me be absolutely clear, what I have said just now we have a situation in the UK where the epidemic is at different stages in different places.

“It’s entirely right that different devolved administrations are taking slightly different approaches to deal with the epidemic in their nation; we respect that and support that.

“When you look at the totality of the approach, the unity between is far more significant than the differences and I can tell you every member of Cobra who was there yesterday, everybody for all four nations, was absolutely determined to have a UK-wide solution to this. I have no doubt we will achieve that.”

But Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney both said they had not been consulted on the new messaging, while the English chief medical and scientific officers were reported not have known about it. 

The Prime Minister claimed the devolved administrations and scientists had been involved, however his spokesman said later that the slogan had been a “communications decision”.

The spokesman said: “The devolved administrations and the scientists were consulted on the strategy and, as you know, we’ve worked together with the devolved administrations. 

When asked if England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty had been consulted on the new slogan, the spokesman said: “The Government developed the roadmap and the strategy for coming out of lockdown using scientific and medical advice, and the new campaign messaging was based on the guidance.”

Downing Street also denied that the united four nations approach for coming out of lockdown  is unravelling, despite measures in Scotland and elsewhere now differing from England. 

In a document produced by Westminster officials yesterday, English residents were warned not to travel to Scotland or Wales, while Scots have also been told not to travel to England. 

The First Minister reiterated in two televised broadcasts that Scots must adhere to her government’s advice, which remains to stay at home, and not to the Prime Minister’s “Stay Alert” guidance. 

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader,  accused Mr Johnson of “risking lives” by the muddled messages, and said: “It is obvious that the last 24 hours has spread confusion. 

“What the public desperately needs today is to be given some clarity.

“I respect the right of the Prime Minister to make his judgment on his scientific advice [but] mixed messaging risk lives. For clarity, will the

Prime Minster confirm that he accepts that in the devolved nations the advice clearly remains ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. Can the PM explain why his government did not share the new slogan with devolved administrations?”

Mr Johnson accused Mr Blackford of trying to ‘accentuate divisions’, and said:”Quite simply I do think the UK has been able, thanks to the cooperation across all four nations, to make a huge amount of progress together. 

“Most people looking at the reality of the advice  can see that overall there is far more that unites the UK than divides it."