Khan criticises Johnson for ‘lack of communication’ ahead of new year

Mike Bedigan, PA
·2-min read

The Mayor of London has criticised Boris Johnson for a lack of communication with himself and other local leaders over coronavirus restrictions in the capital going into the new year.

Sadiq Khan said other mayors were “shocked and surprised” that he was not in regular contact with the Prime Minister.

“I’m unclear why the prime minister doesn’t think it is sensible to speak to the mayor of a city with a population larger than Scotland and Wales added together,” he said

“I think by working together we can have a real impact in preventing loss of life but also livelihoods.”

Mr Khan said he had made the decision to cancel public fireworks in London this year to encourage people to stay home and stay safe.

“Normally on New Year’s Eve we have fantastic fireworks on the banks of the River Thames, seen by hundreds of thousands in person and millions across the world,” he said.

Addressing Londoners directly he added: “(This year) I’m imploring people to stay at home with your bubble, with your household.

“That’s the easiest way you can make a difference and save lives.”

A special programme will be broadcast instead on the BBC to “bring in the new year with a celebration of hope”, Mr Khan said.

“The best view of it will be from your own home.”

Mr Khan added that it was “nonsensical” that some primary school pupils were being told to return next week, while others in different London boroughs had been instructed to stay at home.

He said he had written to the Prime Minister about the “shambolic” decision and added that he was “angry” that local leaders had not been consulted.

“This is not the way to run schools in our city and our country, and it’s another example of the chaotic and shambolic way that the Government has dealt with this pandemic – it is outrageous,” he said.