Professor Andrew Hayward, who sits on the Government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, acknowledged “we can’t turn back the clock” on imposing restrictions. But he told BBC Radio 2s Today programme: “I think if we had chosen a two-week circuit-break at that time, we would definitely have saved thousands of lives.”
The Prime Minister is set to use his statement to the Commons on Monday afternoon to warn coronavirus deaths over the winter could be twice as high during the first wave of the pandemic and that he will “seek to ease” restrictions and return to the tiered system on December 2.
Lib Dem leader calls for increased support for unpaid carers
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey called on the Prime Minister to increase support for unpaid carers, stating: “We will hold his Government to account for failing to listen to the scientists, refusing to lock down weeks ago and costing many more lives.”
He added: “Many carers have been struggling for months often relying on food banks as they care for other people. So will the PM follow the advice of Carers UK, increase carers’ allowance by £20 a week, the same rise as for Universal Credit and give these incredible people a lifeline?”
Mr Johnson replied: “I’ll look at the proposal that he makes, but I would just remind him of the colossal interventions that we’ve already made worth £200 billion to support jobs and to support livelihoods across the whole of the UK.”
Tory MP challenges PM on ‘tyranny’ of restrictions – demands constitution
Conservative MP Sir Charles Walker said the UK is drifting “further into an authoritarian, coercive state” under Boris Johnson as he outlined his opposition to the second lockdown.
He told the Commons: “I will not be supporting the Government legislation on Wednesday because as we drift further into an authoritarian, coercive state, the only legal mechanism left open to me is to vote against that legislation.
“That’s all we’ve got left. If my constituents protest they get arrested.
“Given that the people of this country will never ever forgive the political class for criminalising parents seeing their children and children seeing parents, does the Prime Minister not agree with me now is the time for a written constitution that guarantees the fundamental rights of our constituents, a constitution underpinned and enforced by the Supreme Court?”
The Prime Minister replied: “I think what the people of this country want rather than delectable disputations on a written constitution is to defeat the coronavirus.
“That’s why I think overwhelmingly they understand the need for these measures and understand the need for us to come together as a country and get the R down in the way we’re proposing.”
40 day wait to call second lockdown was ‘catastrophic’, says Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the Prime Minister of a “catastrophic failure of leadership” over his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He told the Commons: “On September 21 when the Government’s scientists Sage recommended an urgent two to three-week circuit break there were 11 deaths from Covid-19 and just over 4,000 Covid infections.
“For 40 days the Prime Minister ignored that advice and when he finally announced a longer and deeper national lockdown on Saturday those figures had increased to 326 deaths a day and 22,000 Covid cases.
“That is the human cost of the Government’s inaction. The reality is that the two pillars of the Prime Minister’s strategy, the £12 billion track and trace and regional restrictions have not only failed to stop the second wave, they’ve been swept away by it.
“At every stage, the Prime Minister has been too slow, behind the curve. At every stage, he has pushed away challenge, ignored advice and put what he hoped would happen above what is happening.
“At every stage, he’s over-promised and under-delivered. Rejecting the advice of his own scientists over 40 days was a catastrophic failure of leadership and of judgment.”
Starmer tells Commons that PM has failed to learn lessons of second wave
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister and Chancellor had “failed to learn” lessons from the first wave of the pandemic.
He told the Commons: “The central lesson from the first wave of this virus was that if you don’t act early and decisively the cost will be far worse, more people will lose their jobs, more businesses will be forced to close and tragically more people will lose their loved ones.
“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor failed to learn this lesson. As a result, this lockdown will be longer than it needed to be, at least four weeks, it will be harder – we’ve just missed half-term – and the human cost will be higher.”
Rayner slams the PM over ‘ignoring scientific advice’
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: “At every stage @BorisJohnson has been too slow, over-promised and under-delivered.
“Ignoring scientific advice for a circuit break for 40 days was a catastrophic failure of judgement and leadership which will cost lives and livelihoods.
“His failure and incompetence is to blame.”
The lockdown will end on December 2, but regional restrictions will continue
In answer to Sir Keir’s question about when lockdown would end, the PM said that the UK would go back to the tiered system on December 2. He added that the tiers would be based on the data about the virus’ spread at that time.
Sunak confirms extra support for self employed
1/ We’re increasing the support to the self-employed from 40% of trading profits to 80% for November.
SEISS is calculated over 3 months so this increases the total grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for November to January and the max grant increases to £5,160. pic.twitter.com/CVhXTOzEI2
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) November 2, 2020
Labour leader Keir Starmer is now speaking
Sir Keir said that at every stage the Prime Minister has been too slow to act to prevent cases rising. He added that the £12 billion track and trace and regional restrictions have been “swept away” by the second wave.
However, he pledged Labour’s support to the restrictions.
No choice but to impose national restrictions, PM tells Commons
Boris Johnson added that there is no alternative but to introduce national restrictions.
He said: “Faced with these latest figures, there is no alternative but to take further action at a national level.
“I believe it was right to try every possible option to get this virus under control at a local level with strong local action and strong local leadership.
“And I reject any suggestion that we are somehow slower in taking measures than our European friends and partners.
“In fact we’re moving to national measures when the rate both of death and infections for instance is lower than they were in France.”
PM warns that cases in South East and Midlands doubling faster than North West
Making a statement on the new lockdown measures for England in the Commons, the Prime Minister told MPs: “While the prevalence of the virus is worse in parts of the North, the doubling time in the South East and the Midlands is now faster than in the North West.
“Even in the South West, where incidence remains low, current projections mean they will start to run out of hospital capacity in a matter of weeks.
“And the modelling presented by our scientists suggests that without action we could see up to twice as many deaths over the winter as we saw in the first wave.”
— to www.standard.co.uk