Tory MPs urge Boris Johnson to get London out of lockdown as coronavirus cases drop

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Tory MPs are pressuring Boris Johnson to get London out of the lockout and enter Level 1 as official figures show Covid-19 cases fall in 21 boroughs, the Evening Standard reveals today.

They are urging No10 to significantly ease restrictions in the capital if the virus is brought under control before the lockdown ends on December 2.

However, they also stressed that Londoners would have to follow lockdown rules to reduce infection levels and that hospitalizations continued to rise, which would inevitably lead to more deaths in the weeks to come.

The largest decline was recorded in Kingston, 29.4%, followed by Kensington & Chelsea 24.6%, Bromley 22.1% and Southwark 21.9%.

  • Business leaders have warned of a devastating blow to London’s economy as a result of the new measures, whose fragile recovery after the spring lockdown has been wiped out.
  • An investigation continued into a leak of the lockdown plan, which highlighted tensions in the all-male ‘quad’ of Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock who are leading the government’s Covid response. It came after the UK statistics watchdog criticized No 10 for not being transparent enough with the data it was using to justify England’s second lockdown.
  • Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi has been forced to defend the latest dismal figures on test and trace performance. James Naismith, professor of structural biology at Oxford, said the system only reached a fraction of the number of people to contact, adding: “It hasn’t been effective at all.”
  • Doubts have grown over the plan for ‘moonshot’ mass testing amid reports that the 20-minute tests have an accuracy level as low as around 50% and their use in Liverpool has been reduced.
  • Professor Karol Sikora, chief medical officer of Rutherford Health’s private cancer clinics, said the decision to close the doors was based on the “worst case rather than the reality” of Covid case numbers.

Mr Zahawi told BBC Breakfast: “This intervention [the four-week England lockdown] will end on December 2. Next, we’ll take a look at how well it works. I think there are good signs, early signs, cautious but good. If we all get together, do the right thing over the next four weeks, we can get the R number down to 1 or less and back to a tiered system. “

Nickie Aiken, Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, said: ‘I urge ministers to seriously consider returning to London to its lowest point when the lockdown ends on December 2 if our numbers continue to drop.

Felicity Buchan, Tory MP for Kensington, said: ‘I would like to see London spend the next four weeks reducing the R rate and cases by 100,000 so that London can emerge from the lockout in December at Level 1.’

Two boroughs, Bromley and Lewisham, fell below 100 new cases per week per 100,000 population, a trigger point that was used to move from level 1 to more stringent level 2 measures.

Sir Bob Neill, MP for Bromley, said: ‘If it falls and it shows a clear trend, they should consider pulling out London before 2 December. If not, based on the evidence we have so far, it would point towards us entering level 1. ”

Hendon MP Matthew Offord said if cases continued to drop he would “approach the government because many businesses cannot continue to be stranded any longer.”

( Getty Images )

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, Tory MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, said: ‘If over the next week it shows that we are really getting it under control, we should rethink the lockdown for a full four weeks .

However, after rowdy scenes Wednesday night on the eve of the lockdown, MPs also urged people to stick to the rules of social distancing and self-isolation.

Part of the drop in cases is due to a decrease in the number of people tested mid-term and a delay in reporting cases. Test positivity rates are still on the rise, and there was also a record high of 2,669 in London on November 2.

But health chiefs are optimistic there is a real shift in the trajectory of the disease which now shows a slight drop in confirmed cases in older groups, and a steeper drop in those aged 20 to 29.

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