Wigan MP slams Government communication over coronavirus restrictions decision

Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, blasted ministers on Twitter as it emerged the borough, along with the whole of Greater Manchester, will be placed in tier two.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 2:20 pm
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 4:11 pm

MPs from across the city-region have been tweeting about what the decision to put Greater Manchester in the middle of the three-tier system being announced to tackle Covid-19 means following a briefing from the health secretary

But Ms Nandy said she had been left out of the meeting with the region's politicians, a situation she described as a "shambles".

Instead, she said, she had found out what will now happen to her constituency on social media.

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And she aimed a couple of barbed comments at the Government over their communication with MPs in areas which are subject to major decisions being made.

Ms Nandy tweeted: "Just learnt Greater Manchester will be placed into tier 2 restrictions via twitter. Apparently there was a government briefing for GM MPs but I can’t provide details because I wasn’t invited. I suspect this is because they don’t know where Wigan is. What an absolute shambles."

Replying to Ms Nandy, Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue said she had also found out about the restrictions for the borough on Twitter.

She said there were restrictions being imposed "with no idea of geography".

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy

Tier two is likely to mean household mixing will be banned indoors but people will only have to follow the rule of six outdoors.

The hospitality sector will also remain open.

The prospect of Greater Manchester's bars and restaurants being shut down had led to fury online over the weekend, with the city-region's night tsar Sacha Lord saying judicial review would be sought if premises were closed.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham tweeted that putting the city-region in tier two was the correct decision, but warned the Government still needed to offer "full financial support" to areas under restrictions.

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce said the tier two announcement would be a relief for businesses but said a combination of a financial support package for firms still unable to trade at full capacity, better planning and improved communication between Whitehall and local leaders was required if the area was not to end up facing the strictest measures in tier three.