Health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed on Thursday morning that Bradford and the rest of West Yorkshire would remain in tier 3 and would not be allowed to relax restrictions yet.

A drop down to Tier 2 would have allowed restaurants to open again, as well as pubs and bars that could offer a ‘substantial meal’, and would have meant that people could socialise in private gardens in groups of up to six.

Tier 3 rules will remain in place until the Christmas bubble period begins on December 23.

The tier system will then return on December 28, once the five-day Christmas relaxation ends.

Commenting on the announcement by the Health Secretary Philip Davies MP for Shipley said:

Philip_Davies MP for Shipley

“The decision to keep my constituency and the Bradford district as a whole in Tier 3 is completely unjustified. It will be a devastating blow to the local economy – in particular the hospitality industry.

It is clear that the Department of Health are making it up as they are going along and constantly changing the goalposts in order to keep us in the highest possible tier throughout.

My heart goes out to those who own, run and work in pubs, restaurants and cafes as well as those who supply them such as local breweries who are seeing their livelihoods removed from them this Christmas.

The faceless people in Whitehall and Ministers making these decisions are not offering to sacrifice their jobs to pursue this damaging strategy. They are just expecting others to sacrifice their jobs to keep pursuing it.

I will continue to do all I can to argue for common sense to prevail and to see our local area removed from Tier 3 at the earliest opportunity, and I will continue to vote against these damaging arbitrary restrictions in Parliament as I have throughout.

As people can see for themselves it is not easy to change the mind of the blinkered people in the Department of Health and Public Health England, but I will keep trying, even though it does feel as if I am banging my head against a brick wall.

I hope that when Matt Hancock and his stooges are enjoying their Turkey this Christmas, they give some thought to the huge number of people in our area whose livelihoods they have arbitrarily destroyed. I can only apologise to my constituents on their behalf.”

Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore said: “Residents across the Keighley and Ilkley constituency have worked incredibly hard to follow the rules so that we can get the rate of infection down with the hope our area can be placed in a lower tier. I am extremely frustrated that despite significant progress being made in getting the infection rate down, we are to remain in Tier Three, when other areas of the UK with higher infection rates remain in lower tiers. This is very disappointing and something I will continue to bring to the attention of the Health Secretary.

 

“I appreciate that our local NHS hospitals are at capacity – winter is generally a busy time for our health services. However, the rate of infection in our area has been falling for a number of weeks now and continues to do so. It is my hope that this is taken into consideration at the next review in two weeks’ time.”