‘You were wrong!’ Jenrick squirms as BBC host exposes how FOUR crucial pleas were ignored

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The UK Government’s scientific advisers reportedly called for tougher restrictions three weeks ago in a bid to beat the coronavirus. At the time, new infections were around 6,000 per day while now the average number of new cases per day is running at 14,500. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick was grilled by BBC Radio 4 host Mishal Hussain over whether the Government had gone far enough with its new tier system.

She told the minister: “It seems now that the judgement that you made, the balance that you chose, was wrong.

“As the Prime Minister said yesterday, we’ve now had a quadrupling of infections.

“The scientific advisers put forward five very serious propositions: a short period of lockdown, banning all contact within the home with other households, the closure of bars, pubs, cafes and personal services and for university and college teaching to go online.

“Only the easiest of those propositions, the advice to work from home if you can, was accepted.”

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Mr Jenrick shot back: “The measures in September were carefully judged to protect people’s lives and reduce the transmission of the virus whilst minimising, as far as one can, the impact on livelihoods.

“It did follow extensive engagement with scientific advisers, but since then, as we said we would, we’ve continued to review the passage of the virus.

“That’s what’s led us to announce this three tiered approach this week which is a simplified explanation of the framework for which we can now live.

“In those places where the virus is very high, Merseyside for example, we’re not just increasing the national measures in those places but also working very closely with the local leaders to design specific measures that will be particularly impactful in that community.”

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty told the Downing Street press conference that he was “very confident” the measures in place would help to “slow the virus”.

However he warned that he was not confident that implementing the base case of tier three proposals for the highest rates and nothing more would be enough to get on top of it.

He encouraged local authorities to do “significantly more” than the absolute base.

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Four million people in England live in areas that have now been designated as high local alert, or ‘tier two’ under the new system, including no household mixing anywhere indoors.

They don’t have the same level of financial support from Government that will go to areas in the highest level.

Liverpool is the first area to be in that very high level of COVID-19 restrictions.

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