Starmer calls for 'circuit break' lockdown across England

Starmer calls for 'circuit break' lockdown across England”

While The Daily Telegraph refers to a "lockdown battle" and said the Prime Minster was attacked from both sides after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pushed for a circuit-breaker, and Conservative MPs rebelled over pub curfews.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said that the Tier 3 restrictions are "fundamentally flawed" and "we won't accept it".

The row came as a model by scientists advising the Government suggested thousands of deaths could be prevented by a short national lockdown over half-term.

They argued that the coronavirus resurgence could be brought back under control by the so-called circuit-breaker that would buy ministers time to improve the test and trace system.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Northern Ireland has recorded 1,156 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people, compared with 995 in Wales, 960 in England and 755 in Scotland.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, he said Mr Johnson had rejected the advice of government science advisers, who had suggested a circuit breaker when they met on 21 September.

Iain Dale challenged Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds over the Labour Party's calls for a "circuit breaker" national lockdown.

Dr Gabriel Scally agreed with SAGE and said it was very "unusual" for a government that says it is following the science not to follow the science when it comes to a short national lockdown.

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Greenhalgh was among Greater Manchester leaders to sign a statement on the new coronavirus three-tier system, which included a line saying "a number of leaders" in the region supported a national circuit-break.

Prof Medley said: "People have said this is kicking the can down the road, and it is - you're not saving lives".

But Bolton Council's leader David Greenhalgh said he was not in support of a circuit breaker at this time.

"This is not the time for trite political points", First Minister Arlene Foster told politicians at the regional assembly in Belfast.

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his government's plan to impose a three-tier COVID-19 lockdown across England to slow the ongoing spike in infection rates.

Most of the country is in the lowest tier - medium - but millions of people in the North and the Midlands face extra curbs on households mixing.

With cases rapidly rising, the British Government opted this week for a three-tier system of local measures.

Paul Brand, a councillor in Liverpool, said the city's intensive care units are already more than 90% full, with the city soon expected to reach levels of bed occupancy seen during the first wave of Covid-19.

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