Devon, Oxford and Dorset won’t face lockdown despite higher Covid rates than London
MPs in London are demanding answers to why the capital is being moved into Tier Two from midnight – as other more affected areas remain untouched by restrictions.
Devon, North Lincolnshire, Oxford and Dorset are just a few of the places that have higher infection rates per-person.
Yet local lockdown rules have not been ushered in as London faces tighter restrictions from Saturday.
Some of the city’s MPs say it is ‘disproportionate’ to put the sanctions on every borough because of the varied rates – while Major Sadiq Khan was accused of throwing Londoners’ jobs ‘under the train’.
Parts of London have notably lower rates than many of those areas remaining in Tier One.
The 32 boroughs recorded an average of 99 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.
The same figures – also recorded up to October 10 – show Exeter has 397 per 100,000.
In Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole all average 139 infections.
North Lincolnshire stood at 150 per 100,000 people, while Coventry posted 159 and Oxford 154.
Not a single London borough’s infection date reached those levels.
Bob Blackman, the Tory MP for Harrow, west London, hit out at the Major of London.
“He is going to be standing for re-election saying I am the Mayor who closed London and threw the jobs under the train,” he said.
“I don’t see that as a great approach. He’s going to the Treasury with a begging bowl – it is ridiculous what he is asking for.
“Andy Burnham is trying to protect and preserve Manchester, and understandably so. Sadiq Khan seems to want to take London into Tier Three. I don’t know what the mad rush is to do it.”
Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond weighed in, adding: “You are taking a very, very broad sweep and it’s not clear that the Government has actually made the case that there should be a complete London-wide lockdown.”
Bromley and Chislehurst MP Sir Bob Neill said the ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ is a big error of judgement on the Government’s part.
He told Sky News: “I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s disproportionate for the whole of London.
“There is a cluster of south-east and southern London boroughs where the rates are very much lower.”
The other areas to go into high alert restrictions this weekend are, Essex, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Elmbridge in Surrey, and Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.
The UK’s coronavirus death toll rose by 136 on Friday, the fourth day in a row daily fatalities have topped 100.
Cases have risen by 15,650 over the last 24 hours and a further 844 patients have been hospitalised with the virus. Yesterday, there were nearly 19,000 new cases reported.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned “things will get worse before they get better”.
Under the new rules, household mixing will be strictly limited.
On Thursday, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith demanded to know why London was being “sacrificed”.
He complained: “Surely we need to look again at the nature of this London-wide Tier Two position because there could even be regional areas that could be taken out, there are big disparities.”