James O'Brien's instant reaction to England's new Covid Tier system

26 November 2020, 12:48 | Updated: 26 November 2020, 12:50

By Fiona Jones

This was James O'Brien's instant reaction to England's new coronavirus Tier system which will come into effect on 2 December.

Speaking in the Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed England's new tier system which is set to come into force once the national lockdown ends on 2 December.

Areas entering Tier 2 include London and Liverpool, and Birmingham and Manchester will be in Tier 3, it has been confirmed.

The only areas to end up in Tier 1 are Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight.

He admitted "many other areas" want to be in Tier 1, and added he hoped they would be able to "soon."

Read more: What are tier 2 rules and restrictions and what areas are in it?
Read more:
What are tier 3 rules and restrictions and what areas are in it?

James reflected that he was not as cross as he expected to be about the new rules because "they have published the rationale and it goes region by region."

"Not only can you find out what tier you are in, you can also find out why."

He gave a cautious statement, "I can't currently see what they could have done differently or could have done better."

James acknowledged that the new rules for pubs and restaurants are "hurtful", adding, "but someone is always going to have to suffer.

"We're all going to have to suffer it's just varying degrees that they are presiding over."

He told listeners he worries that Boris Johnson prioritises backbench unhappiness higher than he "actually prioritises objective national interest."

"This feels like another holding tactic, a way to avoid another national lockdown."

Read more: What are the new rules for pubs and restaurants?