A leading northern MP has scorned London media outlets “who have only just discovered” the complexities of local lockdown rules.
It comes after the announcement that London will be placed under harsher Tier 2 restrictions on Saturday, in line with many parts of northern England.
Labour’s Lisa Nandy, Wigan MP and shadow foreign secretary, suggested national news outlets have not respected the fact millions of people in the north have been living under complicated restrictions for months.
My heart goes out 100% to Londoners facing the difficulty of living with tier 2 rules but to those ‘national’ journalists who have just discovered these rules are difficult and confusing, how on earth did you miss that millions of us have been living with them for months?
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) October 15, 2020
Boris Johnson introduced the “simplified” three-tier lockdown system on Monday to replace his previous strategy of imposing different sets of restrictions on different areas.
These were often considered confusing, with Yahoo News UK pointing out in early August that people in parts of the north were able to visit a pub or eat in a restaurant, where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is higher than outdoors.
At the same time, however, the rules stated people weren’t allowed to sit in the garden of a friend or family member, where the chances of being infected are low.
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In referring to “national journalists”, Nandy was pointing to the London-centric nature of national news outlets.
The offices of most – including Yahoo News UK – are in or near central London, though the advent of home working during the pandemic could result in more journalists working outside the capital in the future.
In the past, Nandy has called for a major shake-up of the BBC to stop decisions being made “by a small group of men behind a desk” in the capital.
Speaking in February during her Labour leadership campaign, Nandy suggested she would overhaul the ownership of the broadcaster and also ensure commissioning decisions for the BBC and Channel 4 are moved out of London.
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