‘What a way to run a country’ – Government delays Leicester lockdown decision

The mayor of Leicester has expressed his frustration after the Government delayed its decision on lifting the city's lockdown restrictions – saying "what a way to run a country".

Sir Peter Soulsby said "we haven't got a clue what's going on" when asked if there was an update on Leicester's situation – adding that he was "really angry" for people in the city.

The mayor was expected to be informed of the Government's decision earlier on Thursday.

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Coronavirus hits Leicester hard
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Coronavirus hits Leicester hard
A police car drives through the centre of Leicester, where localised coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place since June 29, with non-essential shops ordered to close and people urged not to travel in or out of the area. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to decide whether to make changes to Leicester's lockdown after examining the latest coronavirus data.
Members of the public test themselves for Covid-19 at a testing centre in Spinney Hill Park in Leicester, where localised coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place since June 29, with non-essential shops ordered to close and people urged not to travel in or out of the area. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to decide whether to make changes to Leicester's lockdown after examining the latest coronavirus data.
Door to door Covid testing is carried out in Knighton, Leicester by Leicester City Council volunteers to help increase testing in the city of Leicester after areas of the city were placed into local lockdown.
Door to door Covid testing is carried out in Knighton, Leicester by Leicester City Council volunteers to help increase testing in the city of Leicester after areas of the city were placed into local lockdown.
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past artwork in Leicester where localised coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place since June 29, with non-essential shops ordered to close and people urged not to travel in or out of the area.
A worker for Leicester City Council carries a bag of clinical waste away from a Covid-19 testing station at Spinney Hill Park in Leicester where localised coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been in place since June 29, with non-essential shops ordered to close and people urged not to travel in or out of the area.
Social distancing signs in Leicester, which remains in local lockdown, despite coronavirus lockdown restrictions being eased across the rest of England.
A taped off outdoor play area in Leicester, which remains in local lockdown, despite coronavirus lockdown restrictions being eased across the rest of England.
Members of the public in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.
A general view of a closed McDonald's in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.
Members of the public in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.
Police in Leicester City Centre on July 4th. Leicester remains in lockdown after a spike in Coronavirus cases whilst restrictions are lifted in other parts of the country.
Passengers walk through a very quiet train station in Leicester during lockdown. There were concerns that people from Leicester may try to travel to different parts of the country as lockdown restrictions are lifted while Leicester remains in lockdown
Police officers patrol a very quiet train station in Leicester during lockdown. There were concerns that people from Leicester may try to travel to different parts of the country as lockdown restrictions are lifted while Leicester remains in lockdown
A newly installed hand washing station at Leicester Square, as London prepare to reopen to the public when the lifting of further lockdown restrictions in England comes into effect on Saturday. Picture date: Friday July 3, 2020.
A newly installed hand sanitiser station outside Leicester Square, as London prepare to reopen to the public when the lifting of further lockdown restrictions in England comes into effect on Saturday. Picture date: Friday July 3, 2020.
Police activity in Leicester during Local Lockdown. Police carry out stop checks in Leicester as part of the National Police Chiefs Council for law enforcement, checking driving insurance, seatbelts, driving without a license and also offering advice about travelling in and out of the city during lockdown
Landlady Carole Burton at The Three Crowns in Barrow upon Soar, in northern Leicestershire, one of several pubs outside the lockdown zone that have decided to stay closed this weekend after the introduction of a local lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases in Leicester.
Police conduct spot checks on passengers at Leicester Railway Station in Leicester, after the introduction of a local lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases in Leicester.
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Restrictions were originally put in place by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on June 29 after a spike in Covid-19 infections in the city.

The measures were then relaxed as clothing retailers were among those allowed to welcome back customers on July 24.

Bars, restaurants and hairdressers remain closed.

Leicester's mayor said he had been informed of the Government's intentions to discuss the city's restrictions at 6pm.

Coronavirus - Thu Jul 16, 2020
Sir Peter Soulsby said he was "incredibly frustrated" for people in Leicester (Joe Giddens/PA)

Asked if there was an update on the city's situation, Sir Peter told the PA news agency: "We haven't got a clue what's going on, we really haven't. We've been messed about all day.

"They were going to make the announcement much earlier in the day, then they were going to make it around 4pm, then 5pm, and now we understand they're not even going to discuss it until 6pm.

"What a way to run a country."

Expressing his concerns about the uncertainty among the people of Leicester, Sir Peter said: "I'm incredibly frustrated on their behalf.

"I'm particularly frustrated on behalf of the businesses in Leicester because obviously they've now had four weeks of extra lockdown.

"They've been promised extra support from the Secretary of State for Health – he's never delivered on it.

"We've had a bit of a whisper that we may be getting a couple of million extra but frankly that's not going to go anywhere across a city like Leicester.

"After lockdown for an extra four weeks, those businesses are struggling and I'm really angry on their behalf."

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