Leaders of cities in the North have criticised the Government’s handling of coronavirus, in particular their treatment of the Northern cities.
Boris Johnson has revealed his three-tier system for combatting the spread of the virus. The city of Liverpool has been singled out for the third-tier response under the Government’s plan, which would all but reinstall lockdown in the relevant areas bar the education sector. The hospitality sector would also face closure under the proposed methods.
This comes amidst the largest rises in Covid cases occurring in the North West.
In response to the impending announcements, Liverpool’s Mayor Joe Anderson said on Twitter: “We have not agreed anything, we have been told this is what Government intends to do with ‘no buts’.” He also said that he and his team “have been trying to get financial support to protect our businesses and support our region.”
There has been similar outrage in Manchester, with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, criticising the notice given by the Government of new restrictions. He told Times Radio on Sunday: “To be called to a meeting with 10 Downing Street on a Friday evening, to be effectively presented with proposals that needed to be agreed over the weekend, I mean, that isn’t adequate or acceptable consultation to me.
“That is being railroaded into a position. It’s all come too late.”
Graham Stringer, the Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, joined in the questioning of the Government’s decisions. He said on Julia Hartley-Brewer’s Show on talkRADIO:
“The Government has been over-centralised and has taken arbitrary decisions. I am a member of the Science and Technology Committee and we have regularly asked for the scientific basis for a number of decisions the Government have made and they have failed to come up with it. This is obviously a serious problem and the Government seem to be saying ‘we’ve got to do something, this is something therefore we will do it’.”
He continued by touching on the effect of the restrictions on the economy: “But the other side of it is, some of our economies may never recover. There are a lot of jobs in catering and hospitality and even if people are paid a decent amount if they are sent home, the businesses may not be there at the end of this.”
Wigan MP, former Labour leadership candidate and now Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy said: “I haven’t felt anger like this since I was growing up in the 1980s. People feel that they haven’t just been abandoned, they now feel that the Government is actively working against us.”