Boris Johnson faces all-out Tory war after following Scotland’s decision to shut pubs and restaurants in the North
BORIS Johnson faces an all-out Tory war as he is poised to follow Scotland’s lead and shut pubs and restaurants in the North.
Ten million Brits are staring down the barrel of local lockdown measures from next week as virus cases continue to rocket across the region.
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Boris Johnson faces a fierce Tory backlash after following Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to shut pubs in the north[/caption]
The PM is all set to implement the draconian move after Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today ordered a 16-day ban on drinking indoors in pubs.
Jake Berry, ex- Northern Powerhouse minister and a long-time Boris ally, launched an astonishing Commons tirade accusing his friend of falling into the “fatal trap of making national decisions on a London-centric view with London-centric data”.
Mr Berry said: “The Scottish proposals on effectively banning alcohol consumption represent a new low in Covid restrictions.
“If people can’t have a drink to get through this crisis, then what can they do?”
He warned: “It would be an act of economic suicide for England to follow this path.”
‘KILLING THEIR TRADE’
James Ramsbotham, chief of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said the looming lockdown would be devastating.
He said: “Retail and hospitality absolutely rely on the three months to Christmas to see them through the next nine months of trading.
“Killing their trade at this time of year will have a huge impact.
“Is it right to impact the broader economy or could we do something more specific around age groups and groups of people where the infection rates are at the highest?”
Jake Berry, ex-Northern Powerhouse minister and a long-time Boris ally, accused his friend of ‘making national decisions on a London-centric view’[/caption]
Manchester mayor Andy Burnham warned he’ll ‘not accept any closure of businesses’ unless the furlough scheme is re-introduced[/caption]
The PM also faced anger from northern city mayors, with Manchester’s Andy Burnham warning he will “not accept any closure of businesses” unless the Government reopens the furlough scheme.
Liverpool’s Joe Anderson complained the 10pm pubs curfew in England was “having the wrong effect” in his city, where cases have soared to 485 per 100,000.
He blasted: “There’s a lack of consistency, a lack of clarity, but most of all a lack of communication and collaboration.”
Former Cabinet minister Sir Iain Duncan Smith warned the PM there would be a major Tory rebellion if he copied Ms Sturgeon’s punishing lockdown.
He said: “There is no evidence that this works. Absolutely none.
“What there is evidence for is this will cripple the economy and lead to more deaths, as has already been demonstrated, from non-Covid issues.
“It is time to get some balance and save our economy.”
Sturgeon ordered pubs to shut in five areas of Scotland[/caption]
The PM is poised to unveil a three-tiered local lockdown system that would see hospitality venues closed and businesses bailed out in the worst-hit areas.
But even before the proposals were signed off, Mr Johnson was given an ultimatum to axe his 10pm curfew or face a humiliating Commons defeat.
The rebellion exploded after the Government’s SAGE scientists said the curfew was not working. SAGE’s John Edmunds blasted: “I really don’t think it does anything.”
Fresh data revealed footfall plunging by a third since the curfew was brought in last month.
Ms Sturgeon’s bombshell “circuit- breaker” lockdown will start at 6pm tomorrow and last for 16 days until Sunday, October 25.
Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants will only open between 6am and 6pm, and all will be banned from serving alcohol indoors.
All hospitality venues will shut, amateur sport will be banned and public transport can only be used for work, school or other essential reasons.
Liz Cameron, of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, warned: “These measures will sound the death knell for businesses across the hospitality sector, especially pubs and bars.”
Tory MP Steve Baker said he’ll give the Government a week to ‘revise what they’re doing’ or backbenchers will rebel[/caption]
Boris Johnson is set to plunge the North into tougher lockdown[/caption]
Certain areas of the North will see pubs and restaurants close[/caption]
Health Secretary Matt Hancock sparked fears England could follow Scotland as he told business leaders that the hospitality sector was driving transmission.
Rebel ringleader Steve Baker said he will give the Government a week’s “space to revise what they are doing” or he will encourage backbenchers to vote against the curfew.
And with Labour signalling it will vote against, the Government is likely to be defeated.
No 10 stood firm tonight despite failing to provide any evidence the curfew is stopping the virus spread.
It also denied claims it may allow pubs to open until 11pm.
A spokesman insisted: “The 10pm closure allows people to continue to socialise while reducing the risk of failing to socially distance.”
Meanwhile, a study says lockdown lengthened the epidemic and may result in more deaths long-term.
Researchers say while the tough measures eased pressure on intensive care beds, they likely delayed the nation reaching herd immunity.
Modelling shows more of a focus on protecting the over-70s while still letting kids go to school could have reduced fatalities.
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Younger people would have been free to spread the virus and develop immunity with less risk of serious illness or death.
This would have resulted in just one wave, rather than a new surge each time restrictions lifted.
Prof Graeme Ackland at the University of Edinburgh said: “Mitigating a Covid epidemic requires a different strategy from an influenza one, with more focus on shielding elderly and vulnerable people.”
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