Sadiq Khan has said that London is “not ready” for a local lockdown, calling for the government to provide clarity on the resources and powers local authorities have to enforce such measures.
In an interview with Sky News this morning, the Labour mayor voiced his concerns about the ability of the capital to effectively impose and enforce such local restrictions on the city.
Khan concluded that a lockdown “based on a geographical area” would be “very difficult at the moment because of the lack of clarity” provided by central government.
He said: “At the moment we’re not ready Kate – again, I’ve been lobbying the government for them to provide clarity in relation to the powers and resources we have to enforce a local lockdown.
“I think it would be possible to have a lockdown based upon a specific building… It would be very difficult at the moment, because of the lack of clarity, to have a local lockdown based on a geographical area.”
He added: “The government has got to again use this opportunity – we’ve got time – to make sure that they provide clarity on what the powers are, what the resources are in relation to enforcing, heaven forbid, a local lockdown.”
“We’re not ready.”@SadiqKhan explains that it would not be possible “due to the lack of clarity” to enforce a local lockdown in a borough of London.#KayBurley
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— SkyNews (@SkyNews) July 14, 2020
On face masks, he said: “The evidence… from experts, not in June but months ago – from the British Medical Association, Royal Society, World Health Organisation – was that this small thing with other measures can make a big difference.”
The mayor added: “So of course I welcome this U-turn – what I don’t understand though, is why wait two week? Why not do it from today?”
Earlier this month, the government announced a local lockdown in Leicester. Labour criticised the government for confusion – saying that public health authorities and the police were not aware of the powers they had to enforce the measures.
Labour set out a four-point plan to make any local lockdown “robust and efficient” at the start of the July, calling for “guidance on exactly what legal powers are available to local authorities to rapidly put in place local lockdowns”.