Sadiq Khan today demanded to know Boris Johnson’s coronavirus ‘game plan’ as he criticized plans to lock down the M25.
The mayor of London has complained that he has been excluded from Cobra crisis meetings and snubbed by the Prime Minister since mid-May.
He expressed his fury that there had been no discussion of emergency proposals to quarantine the capital – or other major cities – effectively isolating them.
Mr Khan has also risked the wrath of ministers by repeating his threat of £ 110million in police cuts unless the government offers London another massive bailout.
Mr Johnson has possible ‘war game’ options as fears mount about a second peak in the disease.
The measures being considered include lockdown conditions for London, with the M25 acting as a barrier around the capital.
Downing Street said the government’s “contain” strategy provided that restrictions could be placed on transport links “if there is a particularly affected area”. The Prime Minister’s spokesperson stressed that any place could be subject to similar borders.
Official figures show that the worst affected area of the capital is currently Hackney and the City of London, with 19.4 cases diagnosed per 100,000 people between July 25 and July 31. This is a lower rate than seven of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs, which were hit last week by tough new lockdowns to control growing epidemics.
A map of London shows weekly infection rates – how many cases were diagnosed per 100,000 people between July 25 and July 31 – in the capital’s 32 wards. By comparison, the highest rate in London is in Hackney and the City of London (19.4), making it the fifteenth most affected region in England and behind seven of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester. , which was hit last week by tough new lockdowns. to control the surge in coronavirus cases. Green arrows indicate if the infection rate in the borough has decreased during the week, while red arrows indicate the opposite. Yellow line means no change
Boris Johnson (pictured during a visit last month) has possible ‘war game’ options as fears mount over a second peak in the disease
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has complained that he has been excluded from Cobra crisis meetings and snubbed by the Prime Minister since mid-May.
Addressing ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Khan said the first time he heard of plans for a quarantine ring around the capital was when he read the Sunday papers. .
He said the plan, which suggests shutting down London and isolating it from the M25 inward, had not been discussed with himself, the 32 council leaders or any other local leader.
“You have seen chaos in Greater Manchester, parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire and previously parts of Leicester because of confused government communication,” he said.
“It is really important, and it is not a party political point, that the Conservative government, the Labor mayor and all of us put party differences aside and work together for the greater good. “
Mr Khan said he had not spoken to Mr Johnson since May 10 and that it was ‘not enough’ to speak with individual ministers who only know what is going on in their own home. wallet.
He said that “the Prime Minister knows what is going on in all the departments and must be in charge of the details”.
Mr Khan said he “desperately needed to know what the game plan was” if the number of infections increased.
He predicted that there would be “more difficulty” in closing geographic areas – as if the virus was spreading between several boroughs – rather than closing an institution.
“I think we would be ready to have an institutional lockdown – so if we had, God forbid, an increase to do with a factory or a school or an individual place of worship – we think we would have some good plans. with advice on closing buildings, ”he said.
“We are served by four airports and the Eurostar, so if they (the government) spoke to me and spoke to the leaders in London, we could explain some of the complexities and resolve them.
“None of this insurmountable. but let’s work together.
UK daily infections appear to have leveled off and may rise again
In a letter yesterday to Shaun Bailey, rival of the Conservative mayor, Mr Khan warned that London was facing “the perfect storm of rising costs incurred to respond to the crisis, combined with a huge reduction in our income” .
As a result, unless the government takes urgent action, further cuts of £ 110million will need to be made to police services in London at the worst possible time, just as the real risk of violent crime increases as the that the lock is lightened. Essential prevention services, like youth clubs and mental health support, are also at risk, ”he wrote.
But Mr Bailey fired back, “Sadiq Khan wants to suppress the policy of the police. And he’s right.
“The only problem is his record. Sadiq Khan has been in politics with the police since day one. And now he wants to dismantle the police, which I refuse to even discuss.
“Instead of taking a symbolic and meaningless pay cut, the mayor should reduce city hall waste. “