27-28 June 2020 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Govt must act now to reassure public they are managing Leicester outbreak
  • PM must ensure Civil Service is not hollowed out after Sedwill’s departure

Govt must act now to reassure public they are managing Leicester outbreak

Responding to news that the Home Secretary has confirmed the city of Leicester may face a localised lockdown following a rise in coronavirus cases, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care Munira Wilson said:

The Government must act now to reassure people in the Leicester area that they are managing this serious outbreak.

Ministers must urgently examine the data and act immediately if necessary, hand in hand with local government, to keep people safe. We know that COVID-19 disproportionately impacts the poorest and those from BAME communities – both these risk factors are significant in parts of Leicester and local residents must be protected if transmission rates are rising at a worrying rate.

The Government must be absolutely clear how localised lockdowns will work, including who is responsible for managing these and what support will be in place for individuals and businesses affected. Localised real-time data, broken down by ethnicity, is critical and must be shared with local authorities.

PM must ensure Civil Service is not hollowed out after Sedwill’s departure

Responding to news that Sir Mark Sedwill has confirmed he will stand down as Cabinet Secretary, National Security Adviser and Head of the Civil Service in September, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Boris Johnson is clearly ready to grant Cummings his every wish when it comes to politicising the civil service and sweeping out those who may try to hold his Government to account.

Sedwill’s departure threatens to introduce yet more instability into the Civil Service at a time when it is already stretched to breaking point by the COVID-19 crisis, the largest economic downturn in living memory and the imminent threat of a no-deal Brexit.

The Prime Minister must be absolutely clear about any further plans for Civil Service reform, and must guarantee full Parliamentary scrutiny of these. Our world-class Civil Service fulfils a vital role – we cannot afford to see it hollowed out.

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