'Covid guidance changes without an announcement is straight out of PM's playbook'

25 May 2021, 13:43 | Updated: 25 May 2021, 15:20

By Sam Sholli

After the Government issued official Covid advice in eight parts of England without making an official announcement, this caller from Bedford insisted it was a move "straight out of the Boris [Johnson] playbook".

Guidance changed on the Gov.uk website last week which told people to avoid travelling into and out of eight areas, which include Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley and North Tyneside, amid concern over the Indian Covid variant.

However, despite the Government publishing this advice on Friday around half past five, it was the Manchester Evening News that alerted ministers and public officials last night.

Speaking to Ed in Bedford, James asked: "Do you know, in Bedford, you were in the middle of this story?"

Ed replied: "No, I only found out this morning listening to Nick Ferrari."

He added: "I don't know, I think this is straight out of the Boris [Johnson] playbook.

"I think that they can feign incompetence and we can start questioning whether this is incompetence or not [or] whether this is a clear plan."

Read more: James O'Brien reacts as Covid rules changed in his area without announcement

"And, at the same time, what are we talking about now? We're talking about the fact that it was not delivered clearly.

"We're not talking about the fact that this is still the failure going back multiple weeks of not being able to manage the Indian variant from spreading through parts of the UK."

LBC's Nick Ferrari confronted work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey over the clarity of the Government's Covid guidance, and she insisted the message was "really clear."

She continued: "We've been in constant contact with councils, local communities, this is about formalising the guidance on the website."

However, West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin has publicly refuted this claim and said Government's decision to "slip out" the advice is "frankly not good enough."

Read more: Nick Ferrari challenges minister as Covid guidance changes without announcement