22 September 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Government must make more help available to pubs and restaurants
  • Liberal Democrats secure urgent question to challenge Government on eviction loophole
  • PM must take responsibility for failings in test and trace system

Government must make more help available to pubs and restaurants

Responding to reports that the PM will set a 10pm closing time and only allow table service in restaurants and pubs, leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

For millions of people this will feel like a step backwards. After months of disruption to our daily lives many will feel anxious and worried about this latest development.

The Government must immediately put forward a detailed plan to fix the track and trace system, which is the only way to avoid further measures being necessary.

The Prime Minister must also financially help pubs and restaurants who will inevitably lose business. After people have already been through so much hardship, we cannot allow thousands of jobs to disappear overnight.

Liberal Democrats secure urgent question to challenge Government on eviction loophole

Today, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson Tim Farron has secured an Urgent Question in the House of Commons following a loophole in the Government’s legislation to end the eviction ban, which has left an estimated 55,000 households at risk of being evicted since Monday.

It comes the same day as Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson in the House of Lords Olly Grender will use a motion in an attempt to try and block the legislation from going ahead.

Ahead of the Urgent Question, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokeperson Tim Farron said:

With a second wave of virus infections spreading through the country, now is the worst possible time for tens of thousands of renters to be forced out of their homes.

The Conservatives promised at the beginning of this crisis that no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus would lose their home. However, since Monday this week thousands of families are now at risk being unfairly evicted unless we see a change of heart from this Government.

The Liberal Democrats will fight tooth and nail in the Commons and in the Lords to protect renters from being evicted.

PM must take responsibility for failings in test and trace system

Responding to this evening’s update from the Prime Minister about new COVID-19 restrictions, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

We all want nothing more than to beat this dreadful virus and get back to normal. Sadly, today’s statement from the Prime Minister confirms this is a long way off and there will be difficult times ahead.

The Prime Minister must take responsibility for what has gone wrong, and apologise for the chaotic failure of his “world beating” test and trace system. It is inexcusable that this vital test and trace operation has been totally overwhelmed in recent weeks.

Ministers must outline details of the practical steps they are taking to fix the test and trace system as quickly as possible. This is the only way to avoid yet more restrictions.

With millions of people worried about their jobs, businesses and livelihoods, the Prime Minister must also urgently set out a new economic plan, including the extension of furlough and more help for the self-employed and small business.

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  • This obsession with ‘helping’ pubs and restaurants defeats me; yes they have lots of jobs, many part time and poorly paid. Yes they’ll lay people off if times are bad, but the minute covid is either beaten by a vaccine or medicine they’ll be full and taking on again. They have proved a major nuisance for many seaside and other communities by beauty spots with the horrible ‘take aways’ – open plastic glasses of beer supposedly taken home to be drunk but too often fuelling binges in the area of the pub, causing a little, public order and virus nuisance for the unfortunate residents.

    Let the pubs hibernate and come back when it’s safe for them to do so. Save the money and save something else instead – how about small shops and makers? Unlikely the pubs, once these have gone they won’t be back. Or is an economy bass on services and booze the big plan?

  • On the topic of the pandemic restrictions, we know that we will still be facing significant restrictions for another 6 months (eg late march) and we have no guarantee that it will be done by then. Can we assume that the local elections in May will actually take place and if so how much meaningful campaigning can take place beforehand ? As it is many councils have vacancies that can’t be filled and local forums and partnerships have been suspended indefinitely. How do we preserve local democracy in an age of Covid ?

  • John Marriott 23rd Sep '20 - 10:29am

    OK, you can follow ‘Glenn’, rage against the dying of freedom and out two fingers up to whatever our ‘do as I say not do as I do‘ apology for a prime minister, a ‘Poundshop imitation’ for Churchill, as John Crace has christened him in his latest ‘Sketch’ in The Guardian. That’s your choice. Or you can deal with the COVID -19, virus, which doesn’t appreciate the niceties of freedom of choice in its desire to survive as the real Churchill delt with Hitler. Yes, other conditions, like Sepsis apparently kill over 44,000 people per year in these islands, nit to mention cancer or coronary disease and, whisper it, food, nicotine and alcohol abuse.

    We know about these scourges and are continuing to find effective ways of combating them. However, as far as this newcomer is concerned, our ability to control and to overcome it in those who appear to suffer more severe symptoms has barely parted company with the Middle Ages.

    It isn’t rocket science to say how you stop it spreading. The poor people of Eyam discovered that during the Black Death. It was pretty obvious that, once the restrictions brought in during the first wave were relaxed, COVID would make a comeback, albeit so far with less deaths.

    So, in order to keep some parts of society ticking over, we might have to make some tough decisions. My two top priorities to keep going are education/training establishments (for all ages) and factories. I’m sorry; but everything requiring a crowd of people, such as sporting events, will have to rely on TV coverage to get by. As for the hospitality and retail sector, it must be a case of adapting to survive or, if things get worse, be prepared to shut down again.

    I have to say that most shops etc appear to be doing a magnificent job. It’s largely some members of the public who are not playing the game. How do you enforce observance with a police force severely depleted by a decade of cuts and an ethos that puts political correctness and an ethos of ‘policing by consent’ above an effective application of the law?

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