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Following the leak on the website, 15 minutes before Mr Hancock is due to speak in the Commons, the news has sparked an immediate backlash. Welsh Lib Dem Councill Jackie Charlton said: “It should be 3 tier but then this is London not the North.” Other social media users have also expressed their annoyance that London has not been moved to Tier 3.
One person wrote: “How on earth are we in Tier 3 yet London manages to get away with Tier 2!? The North East shafted as usual.”
Another user said: “Just watch Liverpool in Tier 2 and Manchester Tier 3 just to put everyone at each others throats here in the North and to prove a London centric point by the Government.”
While a third wrote: “Look after your own Tories.”
Another person said: “Typical of Boris to put London, who have a higher infection rate than the West Midlands, in Tier 2 whilst we’re in Tier 3.”
Someone fumed: “Absolute disgrace if the entire North East is in Tier 3 whilst London remains in Tier 2. It’s a massive f**k off to the region and will be the final knife in many local businesses.”
A postcode checker on the Government website for people to determine which tier they would be in appeared to crash shorty after it went live.
The tracker allowed people to enter their postcode and they would be told what tier they would be put into.
But just minutes after it went live, users received an error message preventing them from getting any results.
With London in Tier 2, the “high” alert system, it means pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants, meaning they must serve substantial meals and can only serve alcohol with such a meal.
Tier 2 also bans household mixing indoors, but up to six people can meet outside.
Liverpool will also join the capital in Tier 2, while Manchester, Kent and Birmingham will enter Tier 3.
It comes after Mayor of London Khan said last night London had “plenty of capacity in the NHS both in general admissions and in intensive care”.
Shaun Bailey, the Tory mayoral candidate, also warned placing London in Tier 3 would be a “disaster”.
He said: “Many businesses will just collapse.”
Several London MPs had also urged the Prime Minister to consider placing the capital into Tier 1, because of the city’s economic significance.
Felicity Buchan, the Tory MP for Kensington, told Matt Hancock in the Commons that “London is the engine of this country’s economy and my central London constituency is suffering hard”.
Elsewhere across the UK, swathes of the North moved into Tier 3, which means bars, pubs and restaurants will have to shut.
Entertainment venues such as cinemas will also have to close.
This is a developing story, more to follow…
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