Prime Minister`s U-turn should be a wake-up call to awkward squad politicians undermining the public health message – Lord Empey

Ulster Unionist Peer, Lord Empey, has stated that the announcement of a lockdown in England shows how out of touch some elected representatives have been about the seriousness of the Covid crisis.

Lord Empey said:

“Another U-turn from the Prime Minister announcing a lockdown for England shows how out of touch many Ministers, MPs and others have been about the seriousness of the Covid crisis. This should act as a wake-up call.

“Nobody wants to see businesses closed and jobs lost. Neither do we want to see our loved ones become ill and lose their lives.

“Governments around the world have been wrestling with the dilemmas caused by this crisis and here in Northern Ireland we have our own awkward squad of deniers led by Edwin Poots and Sammy Wilson who have been undermining the public health message that the Executive has been trying to get across. Even critical backbench Tory MPs have been brought to realise where all this is going if action is not taken.

“We have serious capacity problems in our hospitals in Northern Ireland, with the longest waiting lists in the United Kingdom. This has arisen because of years of underfunding of our Health Service. But to try and undermine the vital public health message by playing politics with it is outrageous.

“I hope that Edwin and Sammy will now row in behind our Health Minister, lead by example, and ensure that Northern Ireland's measures to bring down the rate of infection are fully adhered to, so that perhaps everyone will be able to enjoy as close to as ‘normal’ a Christmas as possible.”

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