WATCH: “Where’s the consistency?” Labour slams government Covid approach

Elliot Chappell

Jim McMahon has criticised the government for a lack of consistency in its approach to the Covid pandemic and highlighted that “it wasn’t that long ago we were being told to Eat Out to Help Out'”.

In an interview with Sky News this morning, the Shadow Transport Secretary and MP for Oldham accused the government of failing to “learn the lessons” from the experience of northern constituencies like his.

McMahon told viewers today: “Not that long later we were being told that hospitality is a problem of source transmission and we need to close it down to close it down to bring the virus under control…”

“From an Oldham perspective, it is very acutely felt around the unfairness but also the lack of evidence. So, we’ve been now in social lockdown for over seven weeks…

We’ve been suffering that now for seven weeks. When that restriction was brought in our infection rate was at 62 per 100,000, and it’s now well over 300.

“There is no evidence to say those measures have workers and so any further measures have to be based on robust evidence with proper financial support in place…

“Oldham in a sense was the Canary in the coal mine. The government knew that, we were telling them that, and they still didn’t learn the lessons to make sure that they could then have proper, targeted support…

Boris Johnson will set out new rules today that will see pubs and bars in areas with the highest infection rate forced to close as Downing Street has warned that the UK is at a “critical juncture” in its fight against Covid.

The government has received widespread criticism over its local lockdown approach to suppressing the virus, particularly in the North of England, and for its confused and last-minute communication in the pandemic.

Lisa Nandy told Andrew Marr on Sunday that “people feel that they haven’t just been abandoned by the government, they now feel that the government is actively working against us”.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary accused Johnson of having “gone missing all weekend while these decisions are being made”, saying the public has heard nothing from the Prime Minister while new measures have been leaked to the press.

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