James Lock has apologised for being ‘insensitive at times’ by showing off his business trip to Dubai on social media amid the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
In a new interview, the TOWIE star, 34, admitted he ‘should have been more considerate’ to ‘people back home who are struggling’, but insisted he’s ‘trying to be respectful as I can’ with what he shares online and claimed he’s ‘working hard’.
The media personality previously accused Priti Patel of ‘inciting hate’ by slamming influencers who had fled to sunnier climes while the government urged the public to ‘stay at home and save lives’.
Apology: James Lock has apologised for being ‘insensitive at times’ by showing off his business trip to Dubai on social media amid the UK’s coronavirus lockdown
On flaunting his time abroad on his widely-followed Instagram account, the TV star said: ‘I hold my hands up, I have been insensitive at times. I should have been more considerate to the people back home who are struggling.
‘I know people are finding it hard, including my own family and people that I love. Would it be better if we were asking the Government for help? Or if we went bankrupt?
‘But I honestly haven’t meant to upset anyone and I’m not a bad person. I’ve tried to be as respectful as I can. Some influencers were out here partying but I’ve not been here on holiday I’ve been out here working hard and that’s why I stayed.’
The reality star added to The Sun that while he understands why people would find his job ‘distasteful’, he ‘can’t be an influencer anywhere’ as he insisted his occupation is ‘determined by traffic on social media.’
Candid: In a new interview, the TOWIE star, 34, admitted he ‘should have been more considerate’ to ‘people back home who are struggling’
‘Would it be better if we were asking the government for help?’ The media personality insisted he’s ‘trying to be respectful as I can’ with what he shares online and claimed he’s ‘working hard’
James – who is working with shopping network OOOOO during his time in the UAE – went on to stress the importance of building a successful business career to protect his future once his stint on the ITVBe programme eventually comes to an end.
The TV star also touched on ‘providing for his parents so they can retire’ after growing up ‘in poverty’ in London’s Tower Hamlets.
He confessed losing his career is ‘one of my biggest fears’ and revealed he and his father ‘were like a couple of alcoholics’ as they ‘struggled with booze’ during the nation’s first lockdown last year.
James – who recently split from his on-off girlfriend Yazmin Oukhellou – added that he believes the government isn’t ‘looking after peoples’ mental health’ as he said his dad ‘puts his life at risk’ by working as a builder during the global crisis.
Break-up: The reality star, who headed out with his then-girlfriend Yazmin Oukhellou (pictured) has insisted the couple, who have since split, are there for work and opportunities
The former electrical company supervisor previously revealed he had received death threats from members of the public and faced calls for his arrest since Priti’s comments last month.
Influencers boasting of sunshine foreign breaks amid the global pandemic faced a furious public backlash after they were criticised by the Home Secretary.
Priti hit out at reality TV stars for bragging about their holidays and people ‘turning up with their skis at St Pancras Station’, adding, ‘Going on holiday is not an exemption.’
As they shared photos from sun loungers, lockdown had appeared not to apply to so-called influencers and models who ‘used loop-holes’ to jet off the sunnier climes under the guise of work.
Backlash: The former electrical company supervisor previously revealed he had received death threats from members of the public and faced calls for his arrest
But foreign travel – apart from some exceptions – has been illegal since the lockdown law was passed on January 5.
There was also confusion over what would constitute an acceptable journey abroad and who would police the policy.
At the end of January, the UK Government added the United Arab Emirates to the so-called red list of countries from where travel to Britain is prohibited during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ban came as the country saw a surge in coronavirus cases after throwing its doors open to sun-seekers in the New Year.
Criticism: The media personality previously accused Priti Patel (pictured last week) of ‘inciting hate’ by slamming influencers who had fled to sunnier climes
While many countries shut down travel from Britain after the UK variant was blamed for an exponential growth in cases in Kent and elsewhere, Dubai kept its doors open.
But cases have climbed alarmingly for weeks, with deaths also rising to their highest level since the spring, forcing some new restrictions on gyms and bars.
The rise in cases caused alarm and the UK first struck the UAE off its travel corridor list and then imposed an outright ban in the last week of January.
The ban means anyone arriving home from the UAE will have to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense for 10 days.