PM under pressure as coronavirus cases in restricted areas soar

Ashton and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner has accused the Prime Minister of being "asleep at the wheel" as coronavirus cases soar in 19 of the 20 areas that have been under increased restrictions.

Oldham and Tameside had additional restrictions imposed – including a ban on mixing with people from outside your own household - on 30 July.

At this point, the case rate in Oldham was 61 per 100,000 and 26 per 100,000 in Tameside.

Oldham's rate has now shot up to 253 per 100,000 (a 316 per cent increase) and Tameside's rate has soared by an astonishing 739 per cent to 219 per 100,000.

Mrs Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader, said: "Almost all of the areas that have been under local lockdown for the past few months have seen a shocking increase in infection rates.

“Boris Johnson can’t tell us why an area goes into local lockdown or how restrictions will end – never mind why they aren’t working. No answers and no clue."


Angela Rayner 

She added: “He said everything should be okay by Christmas, then it moved to October 2021. This is the ‘make it up as you go along’ Prime Minister – detached from reality, clueless, asleep at the wheel and with no plan on how to get a grip of the virus.

“It’s not hard. We have always supported and will continue to support measures to suppress the virus and keep the public safe, but we can’t support the Prime Minister’s incompetence and failure which has resulted in the Government losing control of the virus and putting lives at risk.”

At Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called on Boris Johnson to “level with” communities affected by coronavirus restrictions.

He added: “The Prime Minister really needs to understand that local communities are angry and frustrated. So will he level with the people living in these areas and tell them: what does he think the central problem is that’s causing this?" 

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