James O'Brien: Sadiq Khan demands people continue to respect lockdown rules

11 May 2020, 12:05 | Updated: 11 May 2020, 18:35

Mayor of London demands public continue to stay at home

By Seán Hickey

The Mayor of London urged the British public continue to avoid travel to quell the coronavirus pandemic.

In the wake of the Prime Minister's address last night, confusion ensued this morning as cabinet ministers and Conservative MPs took to TV and radio to clarify Boris Johnson's speech. Sadiq Khan joined James O'Brien to share the view that "this morning hasn't helped the ambiguity of last night."

He went on to stress to the public that in his eyes, nothing has changed in the UK's coronavirus strategy and Brits should continue to avoid all travel where necessary and maintain social distancing. "I'm quite clear that lockdown has not been lifted" he told James.

Images surfaced on Monday morning of commuters packing onto trains and buses and the Mayor of London insisted that this should not continue, pointing out that London's transport system was running at a fraction of its full service yet "even if we were to run 100% of buses, tubes and trams it is not possible to adhere to social distancing rules." He pleaded on LBC with the public that "if you have to go to work please avoid public transport but if you must use public transport, avoid rush hour."

James agreed with Mr Khan's points, but asked him how people who are being told to return to work should act when the London Mayor and Boris Johnson are contradicting each other. The Mayor told James that he has asked Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to "get businesses to stagger opening times" in an effort to lower public congestion.

The Mayor of London urged the public to continue practicing coronavirus lockdown rules
The Mayor of London urged the public to continue practicing coronavirus lockdown rules. Picture: PA

James pushed the Mayor on his reaction to the Prime Minister's new coronavirus strategy, asking Mr Khan if he is scared for the weeks and months to come. He brushed off the suggestion but insisted that he can "understand why people are scared" citing the uncertainty the media and their confusion at the new announcements. Mr Khan added that the"front pages of all papers cannot be a coincidence."

Sadiq Khan told LBC that the "Prime Minister's statement today is the most important he's made, to provide clarity for people who are scared" reminding the public that Mr Johnson will be leading the government's press briefing this afternoon.

In a final push to ask the public to continue acting responsibly, Mr Khan singled out young people who are ignoring the magnitude of the situation because of a feeling that they won't be affected. "Just because we are reasonably fit and not old doesn't mean we won't get it" he said, reminding us that the Prime Minister who is considerably sporty was "in his own words, touch and go" after catching coronavirus.

The Mayor of London concluded the way he began his conversation with James O'Brien, urging the public "don't leave your home unless you have to and don't use public transport if you don't have to."

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