HOME SECRETARY Priti Patel yesterday warned that the city of Leicester may be facing a localised lockdown after a rise in coronavirus cases.
She said it is ‘correct’ that the government is considering the move after about 25% of Leicester’s 2,494 confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported in the two weeks before 16 June.
Patel said she had spoken to Health Secretary Hancock about a local lockdown, and said ‘extra support’ would be going into the area.
‘With local flare-ups, it is right we have a local solution’, she said.
Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe called for a lockdown due to a ‘perfect storm’ of poverty, positive tests and higher ethnic diversity.
She said: ‘I don’t know why they’re not enforcing a lockdown – the evidence suggests there should be one.’
Just over a week ago, Hancock revealed what he called an ‘outbreak’ of Covid-19 In Leicester. In the first fortnight of June, 658 people had tested positive, with 2,500 cases in the city.
Meanwhile, Patel condemned street parties in Brixton, Notting Hill, Clapham and other locations in London and other parts of the country, which have come under attack by police.
She warned that anyone assaulting police officers would ‘face the full force of the law’, adding that there were 30,000 assaults on police last year and that she will be pushing to double sentences for such attacks.
‘If people do assault police officers, they will face the full force of the law. That is absolutely the right approach.’
Patel denied some may feel they were given licence to ignore lockdown rules by the prime minister defending his chief aide Dominic Cummings for making a 30-minute trip police say may have broken the rules to allegedly test his eyesight while everyone was being told to ‘stay at home’.
‘Of course it’s not true,’ she claimed. ‘That issue has been and gone.’