"London may have to go it alone on Covid restrictions if PM is not strict enough": Sadiq Khan

21 September 2020, 19:09 | Updated: 21 September 2020, 19:26

By Fiona Jones

Sadiq Khan wants the PM to give London tight coronavirus restrictions, including a curfew, and will "have to go it alone" if the measures are not stringent enough.

Boris Johnson will chair an emergency COBRA meeting on Tuesday morning ahead of addressing the nation at 12:30pm to announce new coronavirus restrictions.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Eddie that he has not been invited yet although "I'd be astonished if the Mayor of London wasn't invited bearing in mind we're the capital city, we're a global city, with a population bigger than Scotland and Wales put together."

Mr Khan wants to attend the meeting in order to present his plan for London, after speaking to a group of cross-party council leaders to clarify which measures they want the Government to take for the capital.

He said: "We want to do whatever we can to avoid a second lockdown, as we saw in March and April. We've seen some of the measures introduced in the North East, the North West, Birmingham and elsewhere...and so I'll be asking the Prime Minister to consider additional measures in our city."

This would include reinforcing stricter social distancing - such as returning to two metre distancing - and promoting greater and obligatory mask wearing in more environments.

"London may have to go it alone on Covid restrictions if PM is not strict enough": Sadiq Khan
"London may have to go it alone on Covid restrictions if PM is not strict enough": Sadiq Khan. Picture: PA/LBC

"Although the number of positive cases appears not to be escalating, we've got other metrics to show that the cases are going up, for example 111 calls, calls to GP...hospital admissions," Mr Khan said, "we fear the number of cases in our city could be far larger than is known."

He also told Eddie that while he isn't calling for a 10pm curfew specifically, he wants rules to come in to place to stop potentially asymptomatic people from socialising as frequently.

"We've seen in other parts of the country where there is a higher virus rate those sorts of measures," he said.

Eddie asked what the point in asking for more measures is, considering a "significant amount" of the population are not adhering to those already in place.

Mr Khan countered that a "vast vast majority of the public" are obeying the measures, such as wearing face masks on public transport, and it is 5% of the population who cannot for medical reasons and the other 5% are wilfully ignoring rules.

"If his announcement tomorrow in terms of national restrictions aren't adequate to cover what we'd like to see but we may have to go alone," he told Eddie, outlining this is not something he wants to do at all.

"I hope it won't come to that," Mr Khan said, "what I hope would happen is the Prime Minister will put aside petty party politics and say we're on the same side here...let's work together to come up with a menu of additional measures that will slow down the spread of the virus.