CHESTER Cathedral has U-turned on plans to mark so-called 'Freedom Day' and apologised for any upset caused following a social media backlash.

It announced yesterday that it would be ringing the cathedral bells today between 1.30pm and 5pm.

Most mandatory lockdown restrictions in England have been lifted from today.

Posting on its Twitter page at 4pm yesterday, Chester Cathedral said: "To mark 'Freedom Day', the Cathedral bells will ring tomorrow between 1.30pm and 5pm today."

The tweet was met with scores of furious replies, with some asking if the account had been hacked.

Chester resident Andy Scargill was among those who responded, saying: "There are many of us that will be doing anything other than celebrating, we're actually scared!

"I suggest you guys take a lead from the prime minister and do a U-turn on celebrating what the world's scientists are incredulous about!"

In total there have been more than 2,300 replies to the tweet.

Shortly before 10.30pm last night, the cathedral confirmed it's U-turn in another message posted via Twitter.

It said: "We thank you all for your feedback regarding an intention to ring the Cathedral bells tomorrow marking “Freedom Day”.

"We apologise sincerely for the insensitivity of this plan and for any upset caused.

"The bells will not ring tomorrow."

In another tweet, it added: "The Dean refused permission for the proposed Monday ringing to take place on hearing about it."

A number of people responded thanking the cathedral for its U-turn and apology.