Tag: Mayors

Northern England mayors slam UK government’s support package

LONDON (AP) — Mayors representing big cities in northern England have slammed the British government’s latest wage support package for employees in businesses that may be ordered to close as part of efforts to suppress local coronavirus outbreaks.

In a virtual press briefing Saturday, the opposition Labour leaders of the metropolitan areas around Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield sounded the alarm about the economic hardship their cities are likely to face.

The four leaders vented their frustration at what they consider to be the Conservative government’s secretive and top-down approach to decision making and criticized a failure to provide the scientific reasoning behind anticipated changes to lockdown restrictions.


“The north of England is staring the most dangerous winter for years right in the face,” said Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, a region with a population of more than 2.5 million. “We will not surrender our constituents to hardship nor our businesses to failure.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on Monday expected to back a new three-tier local lockdown system, which could see hospitality venues in coronavirus hotspots in England being temporarily closed. Though new coronavirus infections are rising throughout England, cities in the north have seen the most acute increases. Pubs in Scotland’s biggest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, have already had to close for 16 days.

Ahead of that announcement, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak revealed on Friday details of a new financial support package that will see the government pay two thirds of the salaries of workers in companies that have to shut up shop.

Under the terms of the package, the government will from Nov. 1 pay 67% of the salaries of workers who won’t be able to work, up to a maximum of 2,100 pounds ($2,730) a month. Sunak also said cash grants for businesses required to close will be increased to up to 3,000 pounds a month.

A more generous nationwide program will expire at the end of October, having already cost the government nearly 40 billion pounds. At the height of that program, the government paid 80% of the salaries of furloughed workers, keeping a lid on unemployment.

Jamie Driscoll, the mayor of the metropolitan area in and around the northeastern city of Newcastle, said the new package was “unacceptable,” not least because it doesn’t include workers in firms that aren’t closed but would still be directly impacted by any government-sanctioned closures. He noted that an order for pubs to close will hit everyone from drinks suppliers to stand-up comedians unable to ply their trade.

Steve Rotherham, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said he expected his area to face the highest level of restrictions from next week.

As elsewhere in Europe, the pandemic in the U.K. is at a crucial point, with infection levels — and deaths — rising at their fastest rate in months. Without action, there are fears that hospitals will be overwhelmed in coming weeks at a time of year when they are already busy with winter-related afflictions.

The

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Trump to Go Ahead With ‘Law and Order’ Protest Amid D.C. Mayor’s Ban on ‘Mass Gatherings’

President Donald Trump is expected to give in-person remarks during an event today on the South Lawn of the White House, despite his coronavirus diagnosis and restrictions on mass gatherings that remain in effect for Washington, D.C.



a man wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump removes his mask upon return to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump spent three days hospitalized for coronavirus.


© Win McNamee/Getty
President Donald Trump removes his mask upon return to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 05, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump spent three days hospitalized for coronavirus.

The president’s schedule for today suggests that he will deliver “remarks at a peaceful protest for law and order” at 2 p.m., confirming the ABC News report yesterday which said Trump was expected to address attendees from a White House balcony.

‘Get Out There’: Trump Removes Face Mask For Photo Op As He Returns To White House

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If it goes ahead, it will mark the president’s first in-person event since announcing last Friday that he and the First Lady had both tested positive for COVID-19.

Trump spent three nights at Walter Reed Medical Center, returning to the White House on Monday while appearing to have labored breathing. He has since released video statements, including one which touted his treatment as a possible cure.

Under medical care, the president was reportedly administered antiviral drug remdesivir, the steroid dexamethasone and an unproven experimental drug from Regeneron. He said on Twitter yesterday a “big rally” was scheduled for Florida on Monday.

According to CNBC, all attendees at today’s event will be asked to wear face masks on White House grounds and will undertake a temperature check and brief questionnaire. It was not immediately clear how many people were expected to take part.

Under Phase Two of Washington, DC’s COVID-19 restrictions, which are still in effect, mass gatherings of more than 50 people in a single location are prohibited.

“If shouting or singing is involved, these activities can create droplets that may spread the virus that causes COVID-19 if you are infected. To prevent this, wear a facemask and find alternative ways to voice your message, such as through holding signs and using noise makers,” explain the guidelines from D.C.’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser.

The White House event today comes after a string of Trump administration officials who attended a previous gathering in the Rose Garden on September 26 tested positive for the disease, described as a “superspreader” event by top scientist Anthony Fauci.

On Thursday, D.C. health officials urged anyone who had worked in the White House in the past two weeks to contact local health agencies for guidance about their “potential need to quarantine,” noting there had been “limited contact tracing.”

Despite health concerns, the president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, claimed in

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