NEIL Oliver has quietly left the advisory board of a pro-UK campaign group amid concerns that he is close to embracing conspiracy theories about Covid.

The increasingly controversial TV historian - who has no medical or public health qualifications - this weekend lashed out at Boris Johnson’s decision to re-introduce masks south of the border.

Speaking on right-wing channel GB News, Stirling-based Oliver said the move was designed to encourage “fear” which had “blinded people to the reality of manipulation and mass hypnosis used to make them, and to keep them compliant”.

His remarks sparked social media questions about his role alongside several eminent public figures and academics on the advisory board of the unionist group These Islands.

However, Tom Holland, historian and These Islands supporter, took to Twitter to say Mr Oliver was no longer involved in the project. 

“We mutually agreed that his current focus was not compatible with our own,” Mr Holland said. 

Oliver no longer features on the list of advisory board members published by These Islands on its website.

Holland remains. So do respected Scottish historians Chris Whatley and Colin Kidd and the broadcaster Dan Snow.

These Islands has already had a problem with its advisory board. 

It previously parted company with Oxford professor Nigel Biggar after controversies over his allegedly “apologist” views on empire. 

The group first unveiled Mr Oliver as an advisor in September last year.  

Its chair, Kevin Hague, praised the TV presenter as a “a hugely respected archaeologist, writer and broadcaster who communicates his love for Britain with unmatched passion and eloquence”.

Oliver has been a passionate and public supporter of the union, describing himself as being in a “war of attrition” with independence supporters.

Oliver said at the time: "I’ve been in contact with These Islands since more or less the beginning. 

"Since the subject of breaking up the UK never seems to go away, I have accepted the necessity to become directly involved.

“The ethos and mission of These Islands overlaps neatly enough with my own view of the best future for all the inhabitants of the United Kingdom and from this point on I will stand with them."

He has recently, however, focused more on attacking public health measures to prevent the spread of Covid. To the surprise of fellow historians, he described lockdown as the “biggest mistake in history”.

The UK Government has revived modest restrictions in response to the Omicron coronavirus variant newly detected in South Africa. England's restrictions are now more like those in Scotland and Wales. 

Former SNP candidate and mental health campaigner Toni Giugliano said Mr Oliver’s remarks were “dangerous” and his content "conspiracy theory to the max".