Great Britain

Coronavirus live updates as 50 MPs demand roadmap out of lockdown

PM faces pressure from MPs

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street (Image: Peter Summers/Getty Images)

A group of MPs are piling pressure on the Prime Minister to offer a "roadmap" out of lockdown.

The group - led by former northern powerhouse minister Jake Berry - urged Mr Johnson to set out a "clear road-map" out of lockdown restrictions.

Mr Berry said:

"The virus has exposed in sharp relief the deep structural and systemic disadvantage faced by our communities and it threatens to continue to increase the disparity between the North and South still further.

"Our constituents have been some of the hardest hit by this virus with many losing jobs, businesses, and livelihoods.

"Never has there been a more pertinent and urgent political and economic case to support people living in the North.

"However, instead of moving forwards on our shared ambitions, the cost of Covid and the virus itself threatens to send the North into reverse."

A Number 10 spokesman said:

"We are absolutely committed to levelling up across the country and building back better after coronavirus.

"We stood at the last election on a solemn promise that we would improve people's lives, and although the pandemic has meant 2020 is not the year we all hoped it would be, our ambitions for the country are unchanged."

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Mayor Joe Anderson: I'd back tier 4 measures if necessary

(Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

Mayor Joe Anderson has said he would back tougher tier 4 measures if necessary.

Mayor Anderson said he would support a possible fourth tier of coronavirus restrictions if the tier 3 measures we already had in place did not go far enough in halting the spread of coronavirus.

Liverpool is one of five northern locations currently under the Government's strictest lockdown measures after a huge surge in cases.

But Mayor Anderson said if cases did not appear to fall, he would support harsher measures.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Mayor Anderson, whose brother Bill was one of 61 people to die with the virus in the city in one week, said he is not opposed to the introduction of "tougher measures if necessary".

He told the programme:

"(The pandemic) has taken untold damage on people's wellbeing and a huge toll on families where people have died.

"If anything was required to bring it down faster I would do that.

"However, I want to make sure that we are giving tier three a chance to see if the measures have an impact."

His experience has left him "acutely aware of the pain that people are going through" and "frustrated and annoyed" with people who dismiss the virus as fake or ignore government guidelines.

He added he would review the results of the Tier 3 restrictions in 14 to 16 days' time.

His comments come as a group of 50 Tory backbenchers representing northern constituencies have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to detail a "road-map out of lockdown" amid fears the pandemic is threatening his election pledge to "level-up" the country.

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