Johnson’s ratings plummet and he’s warned early lockdown will ‘fracture’ UK

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Boris Johnson has been warned he may cause a fracturing of national unity if he fails to listen to regional concerns about the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham spoke out as a poll reported public support for the UK government’s handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis had slipped.

Meanwhile, only 39% of Britons approve of the Government’s response – down from 48% a week ago – according to an Opinium survey of 2,005 adults on Wednesday and Thursday.

Those saying they disapproved rose from 36% to 42%.

Burnham said Johnson did not inform civic leaders of his easing of restrictions in advance and said the dropping of the Stay at Home message felt “premature”.

While cases of coronavirus have been easing in the South East, Burnham believes the loosening of restrictions came too quickly for the North.

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“On the eve of a new working week, the PM was on TV ‘actively encouraging’ a return to work. Even though that would clearly put more cars on roads and people on trams, no-one in Government thought it important to tell the cities that would have to cope with that,” Mr Burnham wrote in The Observer.

“The surprisingly permissive package might well be right for the South East, given the fall in cases there. But my gut feeling told me it was too soon for the North.

“Certainly, the abrupt dropping of the clear Stay at Home message felt premature.

“If the Government carries on in the same vein, expect to see an even greater fracturing of national unity. Different places will adopt their own messaging and policies.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

This comes as the Government announced a £93 million investment to bring forward the opening of a new vaccine-manufacturing centre ready to begin production if a coronavirus vaccine is found.

The not-for-profit facility – located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxford – will open 12 months earlier than planned in summer 2021, and will have the capacity to produce enough doses for the entire UK population in as little as six months, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.

Elsewhere, education secretary Gavin Williamson has appealed to teaching unions to work with the government to find “practical solutions” to enable schools in England to begin re-opening.

His plea came amid fears over plans to start the phased re-opening of primary schools from next month, as part of the easing of the coronavirus lockdown in the country.

Talks on 15 May between union representatives and government scientific advisers, intended to provide assurance about the government’s proposals to enable children to return safely, ended with union leaders saying it had raised more questions than answers.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Killer Johnson, the Chief Clown with his lesser clowns, has presided over UKania’s catastrophic CV19
      circus as they have because they are CAPITALISTS who care only for money not the well-being of people. The downside is, it will get much much worse……………..

    2. Wow. 93 million for a vaccine manufacturing plant for If a vaccine is found! Who profits on this one. If people are taking steps to look after themselves I don’t find that socially fracturing. You do what you can to survive in spite of the gross incompetence of the governement. Its broken for good.
      So I think separation of the UK a good thing. There isn’t the talent or vision anywhere in political spectrum to keep it together. A smaller country nowadays is more flexible, adaptive, and closer to having a sense of unity than a huge one. The huge countries I notice are all failing in leadership, and too controlled by those who haven’t any interest in maintaining a democracy, or the health of its people. Death reigns uncontrolled with the lies told to us.
      Smaller is beautiful in these modern times. Just the keep the Weaponed Crazy Politicians away with their visions of socially bizarre granduer to fool the people with.
      They have lost the Coronavirus War, and any sanity to be gained from being sincere.
      Time to move on into the new world which exists around with a profound abundance.
      Lets do Peace of Mind!

      Peace is the new thing on the street . Lets do it.

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