David Lammy 4pm - 7pm
Labour MP: I wrote to government over local outbreaks and they did nothing
2 July 2020, 08:13 | Updated: 2 July 2020, 08:22
The Shadow Communities Secretary told LBC he wrote to the government a month ago to demand local coronavirus testing data - but Ministers did nothing.
Local authorities have complained they have not received enough information about outbreaks of Covid-19 in their region - something that Labour leader Keir Starmer asked the Prime Minister about yesterday in PMQs.
Steve Reed revealed the Public Health Minister refused to respond to his request and that ended up with Leicester going into a local lockdown.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said: "I've been speaking to local government leaders for weeks about this and they've been very worried that they did not have access to the data about the rate of infections in their towns and localities.
"I wrote on their behalf to the Public Health Minister on 8th June and several times more that week asking whether they could be given the data on infections in their areas and clarity over what powers they would have if they needed to be in local lockdown.
"The Minister refused to reply to me. They said they were not in a position to give me an answer.
"The government has had nearly a month to sort this out. They did nothing, literally nothing. And then we see the situation in Leicester.
"And the problem is that once the infection takes hold in a community and the rate of infection goes above 1, it spreads exponentially and there's a risk it can spread out of one town and into neighbouring towns, leading us into a second lockdown.
"It beggars belief that the government is not sharing data that local authorities need to take appropriate action."