MP Lisa Nandy tells James O'Brien Government can't just "announce lockdowns on Twitter"

31 July 2020, 11:56 | Updated: 31 July 2020, 12:06

By Fiona Jones

The Government cannot "announce a lockdown on Twitter" three hours before it is enforced while giving MPs 15 minutes' warning, Labour MP Lisa Nandy tells James O'Brien.

The Government has announced different households are banned from meeting indoors in parts of northern England in response to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Four million people across Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire will also be banned from meeting people in gardens, pubs or restaurants in a bid to quell the virus.

MP for Wigan Lisa Nandy told James that MPs were emailed 15 minutes before the Health Secretary wished to inform them of new restrictions and by the time she had joined the call, the story had already broken in the media.

Ms Nandy said that nobody is arguing we need to move quickly as the situation has changed quickly, but criticised the way in which the Government announced it.

READ MORE: North West of England local restrictions: What you can and cannot do

MP Lisa Nandy tells James O&squot;Brien Government cannot just "announce lockdowns on Twitter"
MP Lisa Nandy tells James O'Brien Government cannot just "announce lockdowns on Twitter". Picture: PA/LBC

"When you put an announcement out at 9 o'clock on Twitter which many people aren't even on, without even clarity about the areas it covers...and you're asking people to comply with those rules in three hours' time or potentially face penalties for not doing so, you've got to be clear about what those rules are."

She told James that while she believes people desperately want to comply with restrictions, "if they don't know what those rules are, they just can't do it."

The lack of clarity on restrictions affect Lisa Nandy directly as she is unsure if her mother can now look care for her child while she works, but believes single households can still bubble with one other household.

James asked what will happen in the north west of England tomorrow when the lifting of the advice to work from home is introduced.

"It's something that wasn't answered at all on the briefing call that we had with ministers last night and it seems to me that this is just another example of different parts of Government pulling in different directions," Ms Nandy said.

Ms Nandy branded it a "real battle" to get the Government to share local coronavirus data, meaning it has been extremely difficult for regions to prepare: "It cannot be right that public health directors who are planning for these things to happen don't know where those spikes are and who is more at risk."