Sadiq Khan risked the wrath of Tory MPs and anti-lockdown hotel bosses today as he demanded Boris Johnson reject calls for a quick loosening of national brakes.
The mayor of London has urged the prime minister to ignore the ‘screams and harassment’ from Tory backbench MPs as he prepares to unveil his exit roadmap on Monday.
Mr Khan said Mr Johnson needed to ‘learn from mistakes made in the past’ when the government previously eased the lockdown.
Mr Johnson said his roadmap would be ‘firmly based on a cautious and cautious approach’ to relax restrictions ‘so as to be irreversible’.
But many Tory MPs are adamant that the success of the country’s vaccination campaign should allow the prime minister to quickly lift the rules.
Mr Khan’s intervention came after Mark Woolhouse, a University of Edinburgh infectious disease expert, said the latest data suggested there could be an ‘earlier unlock’.
Meanwhile, a surveillance study from Imperial College London – the largest in the country – found infection rates were halving every two weeks, with cases expected to drop to 1,000 per day by the next. second week of April.
Boris Johnson, pictured on a visit to South Wales yesterday, will unveil his lockdown exit roadmap on Monday
Mr Johnson is reportedly receiving a data brief today that will help shape the final version of his roadmap out of lockdown.
It is believed the document will establish a phased approach to reopening the company amid fears hotel businesses will not be allowed to return to normal until July.
When asked if he expected the PM to be cautious in the exit strategy, Mr Khan told LBC Radio: ‘I think it’s really important, I know that we are all frustrated and want to get out of this lockdown ASAP.
“But we’ve learned the lessons from mistakes made in the past and I’ll give you some statistics that will give you an idea of the scale of the challenge we face.
In June of last year when the Prime Minister announced that we would be coming out of isolation when you compare the number of people in the hospital versus today, as I speak to you we have six times more people in hospital now than last June when the lockdown was eased.
‘We have eight times more people on ventilators in London now than last June and I’m afraid of the sad news, 15 times more deaths.
‘So hopefully the Prime Minister would do is learn from the mistakes of the past and when he announces the roadmap on Monday make sure he is following the data and the science rather than the cries and insults from his backbench. MP. “
Mr. Khan said that “the health of individuals and the health of our economy are inextricably linked”.
He added: ‘I’m as eager as the next person to get our businesses reopened, to support our businesses, but we need to make sure this virus is properly removed before we do so. ”
Mr Johnson faces increasing pressure to speed up the easing of the lockdown after yesterday suggesting that pubs, bars and restaurants would be the last pieces of the economy allowed to fully reopen.
It is believed that lockdown rules could be relaxed every four weeks after a “ limited ” easing over the Easter holidays, with the hospitality sector likely to wait until early May for the green light to resume restricted trade.
But conservative MPs believe the sites should be able to immediately resume trading on terms secured by Covid at Easter, calling the prospect of lockdown rules still in effect until July “ ridiculous ” and arguing that it would be impossible to justify whether the vaccine was circulating. -out continues its success.
Steve Baker, a member of the Covid Recovery Group anti-lockdown Covid Recovery Group of 70 Conservative MPs, pointed to Professor Woolhouse’s comments to pressure Mr Johnson.
He said: “Boris Johnson has rightly confirmed today that he will focus on ‘data, not dates’ to ease restrictions, as our recent letter suggested.
“As Professor Woolhouse, a senior government science adviser, says, the data looks so good Britain could open sooner.”
There is growing concern that many pubs will close permanently unless lockout rules are relaxed soon.
The hospitality industry has rejected the claim that this is an “ important transmission area ” and is calling for the sites to be reopened along with non-essential retail.
Kate Nicholls, Managing Director of UKHospitality, said: “ We know hospitality businesses are safe and all the data has shown that we are not an important transmission area. ”
Richard Bailey, chairman of Thwaites Pub Group, told The Sun: ‘Once again, pubs across this country will become a scapegoat in the plan to reopen. ”