London leaders hit out at PM's failure to engage

By Heather Jameson | 03 August 2020

The Mayor of London and leader of London Councils have written to the Prime Minister protesting that COVID contingency plans for the capital have been drawn up without them.

Sadiq Khan and Cllr Peter John claimed the first they heard of a potential M25 quarantine ring was when the plans were mooted in the Sunday newspapers.

They claimed the plans had been drawn up and tested ‘without the involvement or awareness of London government’. They added: ‘This is clearly totally unacceptable and an affront to London and Londoners.’

According to the letter, the Mayor has not been invited to a COBRA meeting for the past 12 weeks. The letter says: ‘Time and again throughout this crisis, the Government has been slow to take decisions or has taken the wrong decisions.’ 

It lists problems with the Government’s response including delays going into lockdown, a track and trace system which is ‘not up to standard’ and a failure to pay for the costs incurred by local government.

It concludes: ‘This must stop. Riding roughshod over democratically elected representatives who understand their communities better than central government will lead to worse outcomes for Londoners and the country as a whole.’

The letter comes as the Government faces increased criticism over its handling of the lockdown in the north west, where councils were left confused over the rules when they were announced late on Thursday night.

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