Pubs and restaurants from Greater Manchester begin legal action to stop new local lockdown restrictions
Everything you need to know…
Greater Manchester leaders and hospitality businesses are preparing a legal challenge to new lockdown restrictions being announced later today.
A new three-tiered local lockdown system is set to be announced today when the prime minister addresses the House of Commons at 3:30pm.
According to many reports, it is believed that Manchester will be placed in the Tier 3 category, which is the category that will house the ‘very high risk’ areas.
It will mean pubs, bars and possibly restaurants will close in the area.
Negotiations are being made between local leaders on how the lockdown will look in the areas.
Five Manchester MP’s signed a letter addressed to Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak saying they would oppose any closures as the data ‘would not seem to support a rationale for your proposed measures’.
Night Time Economy Advisor, Sacha Lord, has confirmed he has instructed lawyers to ‘begin a Judicial Review into the legality of the emergency restrictions due to be imposed on the hospitality and entertainment sectors’.
Along with Sacha Lord, The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), The British Beer and Pub Association, Middleton brewery JW Lees, Manchester’s Joseph Holts Brewery, Stockport’s Robinsons Brewery, the New River Pub Company, Hawthorn Leisure, and operators across Greater Manchester including Alberts Schloss, 20 Stories, San Carlo, Wood Restaurant, Gusto, Living Ventures, Evuna, The Alchemist, O’Sheas and Atlas Bar are all supporting the move.
Sacha Lord has asked the government for the scientific basis behind the rules, adding: “There is currently no tangible scientific evidence to merit a full closure of the hospitality and entertainment sectors.
“Our discussions and ongoing calls for evidence have been ignored and we have therefore been left with little choice but to escalate the matter further.”
Chief executive of the NTIA, Michael Kill, said: “The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so called ‘common sense’ approach narrative from Government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the North of England.
“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the Chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period.
“This next round of restrictions are hugely disproportionate and unjust, with no scientific rationale or correlation to PHE transmission rates, when compared to other key environments.
“Systematic closure of businesses across the UK must be challenged when there is no clear evidence or reason.”
Manchester City Council Leader, Sir Richard Leese told the Times Radio yesterday that there was a ‘large gulf’ between the government and the city in ongoing discussions of further restrictions.
He said: “We seem to have an almost impossible task of penetrating the Westminster bubble”.
He added that there is ‘no evidence closing pubs works’ according to the council’s own data.
He also explained that the government had talked about a four-week ‘sunset’ clause to review the restrictions but that there is ‘not clarity’ on the issue.
The new restrictions are expected to come into play on Wednesday at 5pm, according to The Telegraph.
Any business forced to close their doors is reportedly expected to see two-thirds of each employee’s monthly wages of up to £2,100 paid by government.
A Downing Street spokesperson added that this is a ‘critical juncture’ and that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s expansion of the Jobs Support Scheme will ‘protect jobs and enable businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted’.
Ed Miliband explained that fewer than just one in 15 jobs will benefit from the scheme when businesses are forced to shut down. For instance those working in industries which are not ‘legally closed’ but have been forced to shut like events, weddings and cinemas won’t receive the money.
Boy, 11, left in critical condition after being hit by police van
Awful news this morning
A boy has been left in critical condition in hospital following an incident with a police van last night.
The 11-year-old was struck by a police van in Lancaster on Thursday night, May 25th, as the van was attending a call.
Lancashire Police say the vehicle was en route to an emergency call when the collision happened.
The boy was crossing Owen Road just before 8:30 pm when he was hit, and was transported to Royal Lancaster Infirmary in a critical condition.
A police spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the child’s loved ones at this time.
“An investigation is underway to establish the full circumstances that led to the collision.
“We have voluntarily referred this matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), as is standard with an incident of this nature.”
The IOPC said in a statement: “We have declared an independent investigation into the actions of Lancashire Police prior to a road traffic collision in Owen Road, Lancaster at around 8.30pm tonight, in which a child has been injured.
“We understand that a marked police van, with its lights and sirens on, was in a collision with an 11-year-old boy.
“We were notified by the force shortly after the collision and declared an investigation at 10.37pm. IOPC investigators are heading to the scene and the police post incident procedure to begin gathering information.”
According to the IOPC, the investigation is in its early stages.
Sam Smith cancels upcoming shows due to ‘vocal cord injury’ and tells fans ‘I’m so sorry’
‘Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow’
Sam Smith has cancelled their upcoming shows due to a vocal cord injury and issued a statement telling fans, ‘I’m so sorry’.
The singer had to call off their Gloria Tour show, mid-way through, at Manchester AO Arena last night (Wednesday May 24th) after experiencing ‘vocal issues’.
The lights went off and fans waited in darkness for a number of minutes as speculation circulated on social media, with many wondering if there had been a ‘power cut’.
Moments later, after just four songs, a packed-out arena was told the show unfortunately had to be called off.
Afterwards, Sam, 31, issued a statement on their Instagram stories to tell fans — who had missed out on a ‘surprise’ that was supposed to be at the end of the show — how ‘sorry’ they were.
Today, Thursday May 25th, the ‘Unholy’ singer has issued another statement after calling off upcoming gigs.
On their Instagram stories, the star wrote: “Due to vocal issues during last night’s Manchester performance, regrettably we will be cancelling the rescheduled Birmingham and Glasgow Sam Smith shows.
“Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.
“A spokesperson said ‘Doctors have advised due to a vocal cord injury, Sam must have complete vocal rest’.
“Sam is heartbroken to have had to cancel these shows but they have been told by doctors that if they keep singing, they will do permanent damage to their voice.
“If they take some rest they will be able to perform again. I’m so sorry.”
Sam already had to push back the Birmingham and Glasgow gigs after suffering from a virus several weeks ago.
After calling off last night’s show at Manchester’s AO Arena, Sam wrote on their Instagram story: “Today in soundcheck I felt fine and was so excited to give Manchester an amazing show tonight, with a special surprise at the end.
“During my third song, I noticed something wrong with my voice. I prayed it was just my voice waking up for the show but into the fourth song I could feel something was really wrong.”
The pop singer added: “I came off stage and have tried everything to get my voice back in gear but it won’t.
“I am honestly heartbroken I couldn’t finish the show tonight for you all. I love you all. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.”
Body found in river in search for missing 24-year-old woman
Shannon’s family have been informed
A body has been found in a river in the search for a missing woman from Lancashire.
Police searching for Shannon Canning from Lancaster say they have found a body. The 24-year-old had been missing from home since the early hours of Friday May 19th.
A search operation was launched to find the young woman who did not turn up for work at Tipple bar on Friday afternoon.
Public appeals for help were launched by her family and the police force, who said they were concerned for her welfare as the disappearance was out of character.
Lancashire Police have confirmed the body of a woman was found in the River Lune near Halton on Wednesday afternoon, May 24th. Shannon’s family has been informed.
Patrols were increased during the week and specialist divers joined the search yesterday. Officers were called at around 4.20pm Wednesday afternoon when the discovery was made.
A statement from Lancashire Police said: “Sadly, officers searching for missing Shannon Canning have an update, following a body recovered from the River Lune.
“We can confirm that we were called today (May 24th) at around 4:20pm to a report that a body had been found in the River Lune, near Halton.
“Specialist search teams have subsequently attended the area and can sadly confirm that the body of a woman has been recovered.
“Although formal identification has yet to take place, we believe the body to be that of missing Shannon Canning.
“Shannon’s family have been made aware of this sad development and our thoughts are with them at this upsetting time.”