York’s Conservative MP isn’t happy with Boris statement on new Covid restrictions

22 Sep 2020 @ 5.36 pm
| Politics

Both of the MPs who represent York have expressed concern about the latest round of Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the PM in a bid to stop the coronavirus strain getting out of control.

Boris Johnson said that the restrictions announced could remain in place for “perhaps six months”.

Julian Sturdy, Conservative member for York Outer, has said he would like to have heard the Prime Minister set out a clearer timeframe.

He fears that suggesting these measures might last six months is “unhelpful”.

Mr Sturdy said on Twitter: “Having listened carefully to the Prime Minister, I’d have liked to have heard him set out a clearer timeframe & fear that indicating that we can expect these measures to be in place for six months is unhelpful.

“At this time it is important to give businesses and consumers hope that if restrictions are successful in curbing the virus then there is a prospect for easing them before the end of the year.”

He is not alone in fearing that there will be major consequences for York’s hospitality trade. Today Marc Allinson, the landlord of the Artful Dogder on Micklegate, said he feared that a 10pm curfew will lead to us seeing a number of good pubs go under.

Speaking in a video interview for YorkMix he added that post 10pm was his busiest time and branded the move by the government as ridiculous.

‘Move the risk elsewhere’

Julian Sturdy and Rachael Maskell MPs

The PM defended the policy, telling the Commons: “We always knew that while we might have driven the virus into retreat, the prospect of a second wave was real.

“I’m sorry to say that, as in Spain and France and many other countries, we’ve reached a perilous turning point.”

Labour MP for York Central Rachael Maskell was also critical of the PM.

“I want to see the evidence that closing pubs an hour earlier is going to create the firebreak needed to stop infections rise; I worry that it will just move the risk elsewhere,” she said.

Earlier today Mr Sturdy said that he accepted a move to table service was a good measure – but he thought the 10pm curfew would have little effect on the spread of the virus while at the same time causing further damage to the hospitality industry.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will have to close at 10pm from Thursday. And fines for breaking laws on gatherings and not wearing a mask will also increase to £200 for a first offence.

The Scottish government is also now advising against car-sharing too.