Labour politicians angry about leaked plans to shut northern pubs

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has added her voice to the chorus of condemnation of the proposed measure.

Thursday, 8th October 2020, 11:54 am
Updated Thursday, 8th October 2020, 11:59 am
Lisa Nandy MP

The leaked proposals, which have not been confirmed, appeared on the front pages of three national newspapers, provoking an angry response from opposition MPs and Labour elected mayors.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this Government.”

Ms Nandy tweeted: "This is a huge deal for businesses, jobs and families in the north of England. Leaking it to The Times is utterly disrespectful to millions of us who are already paying the price for the government’s inability to listen and learn from their mistakes."

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Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region mayor and Barnsley Central MP, wrote on Twitter: “Recklessly irresponsible to brief the papers but not leaders in the North who’ll somehow have to make this work. Get a grip”.

Liverpool City Region metro mayor Steve Rotheram said: “It is deeply disappointing to wake up this morning to reports that new Covid-19 restrictions affecting millions of people in our city region, and across the North, could be in place within days, rather than hearing it during a genuine dialogue between ministers and local leaders.

“At the moment we have a patchwork of local measures across the country and too much confusion for the public as a result.”

Mr Rotheram said extra funding for affected areas would be needed, adding: “When the country locked down in March, the Chancellor’s actions showed that such significant measures required financial support on a similar scale.

“If it was right then, it certainly is now – so we need to be seeing local furlough schemes, business grants and financial support for the self-employed and those who cannot work from home.”

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell, Manchester Central MP, tweeted: “Let’s remember infections still largely occurring: inside households, then in education (mainly university) settings then health/care settings, then workplaces. In that order. Only then (and further down) do you get to hospitality and other settings…”

Referring to the prospect of pubs in northern England being shut down, she added: “It’s really upsetting and a lot of anxiety for all those working in and running restaurants, pubs, bars in “the North” (that place up there where 15m of us live).”

Labour MPs in the North East of England also reacted angrily to the announcement.