'Lives and livelihoods have been lost' because of delay over second lockdown, claims South Shields MP

'Lives and livelihoods have been lost’ because of a delay in bringing in a second national lockdown, the MP for South Shields has said.

By Ross Robertson
Saturday, 31st October 2020, 7:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st October 2020, 9:23 pm
Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Member of Parliament for South Shields
Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Member of Parliament for South Shields

It came after weeks of pressure from the Labour Party to implement such measures, as other parts of the UK and other countries in Europe took similar steps.

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s Downing Street announcement on Twitter, Emma Lewell-Buck MP said: “PM was warned by his medical advisors in September we needed a national lockdown for two weeks, he refused.

"Lives and livelihoods have been lost. We are now facing a month long lockdown. He and his Cabinet have a lot to answer for."

Mr Johnson announced the new restrictions after rejecting earlier calls from Government scientists for a short, sharp shutdown.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail will close from Thursday until at least December 2.

The public will be told to stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave, but schools, colleges and nurseries will remain open.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the furlough scheme will be extended for a further month, with the Treasury covering 80% of employees’ wages to prevent further unemployment.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the delay will have a “very real” human cost, while northern leaders criticised ministers for extending the furlough for the nation despite earlier refusing it for their areas during heightened restrictions.

Sir Keir welcomed that the Prime Minister had “finally taken the decision it should have taken weeks ago” and indicated Labour would support the lockdown in a Commons vote.

“Everybody is concerned about the rise in infections, the hospital admissions and tragically the number of deaths. That’s why three weeks ago, I called for circuit-break,” Sir Keir told reporters.

“The Government completely rejected that only now to announce the self-same thing.

“Alas the delay now will cost, the lockdown will be longer, it’ll be harder and there’s a human cost which will be very, very real.”

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