Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery criticises government's 'mixed messages' over coronavirus restrictions

The leader of Wakefield Council has said "mixed messages" from the government have been unhelpful in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 12:30 pm
Boris Johnson announced a raft of new nationwide restrictions on Tuesday.

During a live Q&A session on Facebook on Tuesday, the authority's Labour leader Denise Jeffery said it had been a "difficult time for everyone" but called on ministers to "step up to the plate".

The government has been criticised for several aspects of its handling of the pandemic.

Asked by a member of the public if she felt the council's own efforts over the last six months had been "undermined by mixed messages from the government", Coun Jeffery responded: "We try to work with the government as best we can.

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"It's a political comment but I do feel the mixed messages have been not good at all, really.

"All the mistakes that have been made this year - the fiasco with the exams, PPE and care homes.

"But despite that, we've carried on and we shall continue to do that.

"I wish the government would step up to the plate.

"I've listened to Keir Starmer talking about what he would do and I hope it won't be too long before we can have a General Election."

He claimed the government would double current capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.

Morley and Outwood's Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns also defended the government and claimed the Labour opposition had failed to offer "a positive and constructive approach given the severity of our times".

Local Democracy Reporting Service