Starmer calls the manner of the announcement a “new low”
An estimated 4m people living in large parts of the North wake up this morning to find that a new range of lockdown restrictions has been implemented. The areas covered include Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire.
The measures make it illegal in the areas covered for people from different households to meet indoors and have been brought in because of a rising number of COVID cases there.
The manner of the announcement, by late night Tweet, has drawn the wrath of LAB leader Keir Starmer. He Tweeted:
No one would argue with putting in place local action to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. But announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government’s communications during this crisis. When the government ended the daily press conferences, they said they would hold them for “significant announcements”, including local lockdowns. It’s hard to imagine what could be more significant than this. For all the bluster, government has failed to deliver a functioning track and trace system that would spot local flare ups like these. The people of Greater Manchester now need urgent clarity and explanation from the government – and there must be proper support for those businesses and people affected by any lockdown.
The areas covered by this latest development include many of the seats gained by the Tories last December in the general election and which Labour dearly wants to win back.
HealthSec Matt Hancock said “We take this action with a heavy heart but unfortunately it’s necessary because we’ve seen that households meeting up and a lack of social distancing is one of the causes of this rising rate of coronavirus and we’ll do whatever is necessary to keep the country safe.”