Ministers will ‘overcompensate’ for Christmas ‘mistake’ with higher tiers, says Andy Burnham

Manchester has been in Tier 3 for many months - Getty
Manchester has been in Tier 3 for many months – Getty

Ministers will have to ‘overcompensate’ for the Christmas bubble ‘mistake’ by keeping more areas in higher tiers, Andy Burnham has said. 

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, will announce tier changes at around 11.30am today, following last night’s “Covid O” meeting. 

Speaking ahead of today’s tier announcement Mr Burnham said there was a “clear case” for parts of Greater Manchester to be moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 restrictions.

The regon’s mayor told BBC Breakfast: “It’s clear a mistake has been made over Christmas. I have to say I did say it at the time, that it was allowing too much. My worry is they’re now about to overcompensate with the decisions on the tiers.”

Meanwhile Andrew Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire, warned that compliance would “disappear” if regions were kept in higher tiers any longer. 

“We all need hope and if hope is lost then I worry if the discipline that’s seen us through so far will disappear, and then it’s going to be a disaster,” he added.

​Follow the latest updates below.

08:22 AM

Police will not take action over minor Christmas breachs

Priti Patel has suggested the police will not look to take action over minor breaches of the Christmas rules, such as an extra individual at a family gathering.  

During an interview with LBC, she was asked whether the police should be called if one extra person attended a Christmas gathering. 

Responding, she said: “No, I’m not going to go there … I think (the public) have exercised great judgment throughout the year when it comes to following the regulations.”

Pressed on whether the police were needed in the case of “one extra grandma or uncle” at a gathering, the Home Secretary said: “We do not need to get involved in any of that at all and we’re being clear about household bubbles for the Christmas period, the public will exercise their judgment and do the right thing because they want to protect each other.”

08:15 AM

Priti Patel plans ‘very, very tight and small’ Christmas

Home Secretary Priti Patel said she would visit police at Christmas before spending the day with her “very, very tight and small family bubble”.

She told Sky News she would be on call over the festive period and added: “I will also be spending some time with our frontline police officers on Christmas Day because they are obviously working to keep us all safe.

“Other than that, I will be in my very, very tight and small family bubble.”

Asked the same question by BBC Breakfast, she said: “I will not be seeing many member of my family this Christmas – and I am not alone in that.”

She had scaled down her plans as a result of changing rates, she added. 

08:12 AM

I would shop my neighbours for Christmas breaches, says Priti Patel

Priti Patel has said she would inform the police if she saw people breaching coronavirus laws over Christmas, reigniting the debate about whether people should shop their neighbours.

The Home Secretary told BBC Breakfast: “Any individual that saw any laws being broken would take that upon themselves.

“If I saw somebody flouting coronavirus regulations and the laws, of course I would look to inform the police about that.

“The public are part of this … we do see the public and the police working together.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel has reignited the 'shop a neighbour' debate - Heathcliff O'Malley
Home Secretary Priti Patel has reignited the ‘shop a neighbour’ debate – Heathcliff O’Malley

07:53 AM

Police ‘will enforce against egregious breaches’ of Christmas rules, says Home Secretary

Priti Patel said police will take action against “egregious breaches” of coronavirus rules this Christmas.

The Home Secretary stressed that the public had been ” incredibly sensible in terms of exercising their own judgment.”

She said that action should be taken against “egregious breaches only”, such as “the raves, the house parties, anything basically that is in breach of the rules that would effectively lead to the spread of the virus.”

07:47 AM

‘Don’t recall us, we’ll recall you’: PM sends MPs home

Boris Johnson will send MPs home for Christmas on Thursday in a bid to ramp up the pressure on Brussels as the Brexit trade talks enter their endgame. 

The move is a signal to the EU that the Prime Minister is not prepared to cave to EU demands over fishing, despite the European Commission president suggesting it was the last remaining obstacle to a deal on Wednesday.

Addressing the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs on Wednesday night, Mr Johnson joked: “Don’t recall us, we’ll recall you.”

Downing Street moved to dampen hopes that a deal might be close, after Ursula von der Leyen said there was a “narrow path” to striking the zero-tariff, zero-quota deal before the end-of-year deadline. 

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