No Lewis, the Government Did Not Announce North West Restrictions Via Twitter


No Lewis, the Government Did Not Announce North West Restrictions Via Twitter

Newsnight’s Lewis Goodall was clearly out of the loop last night and is responsible for this nonsense going round this morning that Hancock only announced the restrictions late last night via Twitter. That you can read about them in papers that went to print hours before Newsnight went on air suggests that he was completely wrong about it. His muddled report says more about him than Hancock:

Last night’s announcement by Matt Hancock – which was made via a pooled TV interview, not a tweet as Starmer is claiming – last night means four million North Westerners are waking up this morning to find a new semi-lockdown has been imposed, meaning families in Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire can no longer meet up, either in private or in public. The full details of the semi-lockdown were released by the Department for Health last night…

This morning one northern director of Public Health told the Today programme he first learnt about the lockdown of four million people via the news.

The left – both political and press – is claiming Matt Hancock only announced the lockdown via his personal Twitter account; completely ignoring the pooled clip he did for broadcasters before the social media announcement and the statements given to newspapers earlier in the evening. Admittedly greater details would have been appreciated by everyone, with specific confusion over whether different families could meet up in public spaces like pubs and restaurants – a question eventually clarifiedtwo households should not go to hospitality together“. Some are already claiming in all seriousness that the two-family pub ban is a deliberate anti-Eid strategy by the government…

UPDATE:  Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has said this morning that Matt Hancock spoke to him and Sir Richard Lees (Manchester’s Labour leader) at tea time yesterday.