October 04, 2020
Labour says a “suspicion of political interference” hangs over local lockdown decisions as many Tory ministers’ constituencies have been spared restrictions. 
Suspicion Of Political Interference Over Local Lockdowns, Says Labour
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth urged the government to publish more Covid-19 infection data as it was “not clear why” places were chosen. 
He said while huge swathes of the north were under lockdown, some areas with higher case rates – such as communities secretary Robert Jenrick’s Newark and chief whip Mark Spencer’s Sherwood – do not have restrictions. 
The government has said lockdown measures are being imposed to drive down infections.
“Because there is no clear guidelines as to why an area goes into restrictions and how an area comes out of restrictions then there is a suspicion that there is political interference – I hope there isn’t,” Ashworth said, speaking on the BBC Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. 
“But until the government publish clear guidelines, that suspicion will always linger.”
The North East, Merseyside, and huge swathes of Lancashire and Leicestershire are under lockdown. 
Saying there appeared to be a “red wall lockdown” emerging, Ashworth said: “What we need to see is local authority leaders properly involved, we need to see local councillors properly involved, we need to see the local health service involved as well.”Prime Minister Boris Johnson on local restrictions: "I know people are furious with me and they’re furious with the government but… it's going to continue to be bumpy through to Christmas. It may even be bumpy beyond"#Marr#Covid_19https://t.co/iUFQLFuY4Jpic.twitter.com/YVAKc3CzuW— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) October 4, 2020In an interview on Sunday, also with Marr, prime minister Boris Johnson warned it would be “bumpy” until Christmas. 
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, meanwhile, has said the government is “in danger of losing the public in the north of England”.
Speaking to the Sophy Ridge On Sunday show on Sky News, the former Labour minister said: “We need a bit of a reset here so that people can clearly understand what’s being asked.”
He added: “I certainly feel this week that we’ve reached a bit of a turning point with all of this.
“The government are really in danger of losing the public in the north of England.
“And actually if they carry on imposing restrictions on the north without proper support for the businesses and the employees affected in the North, we will see a winter of levelling down and the North-South divide getting bigger.”
On Saturday, fresh fears were mounting about the virus’ spread after almost 13,000 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the UK in the 24 hours up to 9am Saturday - a jump of nearly 6,000 from the day before.
The official dashboard that records cases said the surge was due to a technical glitch and includes some additional cases from the period between September 24 and October 1.
It did not specify exactly which days the extra cases were from or which areas, however. Related... Ban On Households In North-East Mixing Indoors As Covid Cases Spike Labour Voices Alarm Over 'Failing' US Firm Subcontracted For NHS Test And Trace Boris Johnson Attempts To Defend Test And Trace... By Completely Undermining It
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