Source: Mayor of London
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“I am furious that the Government has dithered and delayed yet again. Their indecision will have unimaginable consequences – both lives and livelihoods will be lost as a result.
“Acting early and decisively is the best way to control this virus, which is why I and many others urged the Government to listen to SAGE and introduce a short, national, circuit breaker weeks ago when it could have saved lives and done the least damage to our economy. Instead, the Prime Minister chose to completely ignore the expert, scientific advice.
“The Government’s delay means that case numbers are now too high for a short, sharp, circuit breaker to be effective. This has left the Prime Minister with no choice but to introduce a longer national lockdown.
“It is absolutely imperative that the Government does not repeat its dithering when it comes to the additional economic support that will now clearly be needed. Ministers have a once-in-a-generation responsibility to provide whatever public funding is needed to prop up our economy and support businesses and jobs through this period of much tighter restrictions. The Chancellor needs to stand up urgently and say that he will do whatever it takes for as long as is needed.
“The Prime Minister has done the right thing by extending the furlough scheme which was due to end tomorrow – but he must immediately confirm that it will be at 80 per cent of wages for everyone who needs it. Government support must also include direct grants and loans for businesses in the sectors likely to be worst affected to be made available now.
“I would like to make a direct appeal to all Londoners as your Mayor: Thank you for the enormous sacrifices you have made over the last seven months. You may not agree with or like the Government’s latest restrictions. However, we must all follow them. Please continue following the restrictions and public health guidance. We must act to protect each other.
“I know it won’t be easy, but history tells us that Londoners always pull together in times of crisis. We must once again make huge collective sacrifices now in order to prevent even greater suffering later. I will continue to lobby the government to finally sort out a fully functioning test and trace system and the financial support London needs. I promise you that our city will get through this together.”