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UK News Jeremy Corbyn's brother leads new demonstration against Covid lockdown

19:45  17 october  2020
19:45  17 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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a group of people walking down the street: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Jeremy Corbyn's brother Piers has fronted a new demonstration against the Covid lockdown rules as Londoners begin life under new Tier 2 restrictions.

The 73-year-old, who was previously fined £10,000 for his part in a previous rally, stood with a megaphone among the crowd that had gathered in Oxford Street earlier today.

The anti-mask protestors, who were flanked by police, held placards that read 'burn your mask' and 'this is now tyranny'.

Piers Corbyn addresses crowds at protest against masks and 5G

  Piers Corbyn addresses crowds at protest against masks and 5G Piers Corbyn addressed several dozen people on the steps of Welsh Parliament in Cardiff on Sunday during an anti-mask protest. Protesters held placards saying 'free your face'.The brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed dozens gathered on the steps of Welsh Parliament in Cardiff on Sunday.

The group is calling for an end to social distancing and face masks as well as wanting to halt any coronavirus vaccines.

It comes as Londoners started adjusting to life in Tier 2 after waking up with more coronavirus curbs.

Mr Corbyn had been present during a smaller protest against the new measures in Soho last night which saw some revellers led away in handcuffs.

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He said: 'We're here to drink against curfew. To oppose the lockdowns, to oppose job losses caused by lockdowns, to oppose all of it.

'The whole lot should be lifted now.'

It comes as small groups were seen heading out for coffee and keeping to social distancing guidelines in the capital earlier today with more than half of England now living with heightened coronavirus restrictions.

Regulations in the second level of lockdown means people must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting nor socialise in a group of more than six outside - including in a garden.

'We won't break the law': Burnham would accept Tier 3 if imposed on Greater Manchester

  'We won't break the law': Burnham would accept Tier 3 if imposed on Greater Manchester Andy Burnham says he will keep to the law and "accept" Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions for Greater Manchester if the government imposes them. The region's mayor told Sky News it was ministers' "prerogative" to announce the measures, if negotiations over the next few hours end in stalemate.

Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors and will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with others they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport.

People can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys made where possible.

Meanwhile, police fought to enforce coronavirus laws in London last night as they faced defiance from both protesters and drinkers refusing to go home after being turfed out of pubs and bars at 10pm.

Chancellor set to unveil more support for businesses in Tier 2 areas

  Chancellor set to unveil more support for businesses in Tier 2 areas Businesses in parts of England under Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions will get further financial support in a package unveiled by the chancellor today, according to reports. Rishi Sunak will announce the new measures - aimed particularly at pubs, bars and restaurants - in the Commons later, according to The Daily Telegraph.Currently, hospitality premises in "high risk" areas such as London and Birmingham are only allowed to take customers from the same household, unless mixed groups sit outside, resulting in a considerable drop in footfall.

Officers were seen leading people away in handcuffs after encountering an alarming lack of compliance just hours before Covid restrictions were tightened.

Boris Johnson yesterday thanked mayor Sadiq Khan for working with the Government to place the capital into the higher alert level - and urged Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to also cooperate.

Mr Burnham is resisting the Prime Minister's move to place the region into Tier 3 and is instead agitating for a nationwide lockdown, leaving negotiations with ministers deadlocked.

But Mr Johnson yesterday used a Downing Street press briefing to warn that he is prepared to elevate Greater Manchester unilaterally, with sources suggesting he could impose harsher measures as early as Monday.

Lancashire leaders struck a deal with Government and joined Liverpool in the most severe Tier 3 bracket, meaning all pubs and restaurants must close unless they can serve food.

As more than 28million people in England began living under the top two tiers:

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  Warrington will go into Tier 3: Council leaders say deal is agreed A deal on putting Warrington into Tier 3 has been agreed, council leaders have told Sky News. The deal, which has not yet been confirmed by the government, includes £4.2m in financial support for businesses.However, it has not yet been decided when the new coronavirus restrictions will come into effect across the northern town, but it could potentially be next Thursday.

At midnight last night people in London, Essex, York, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield were placed into Tier 2.

In addition to following the nationwide restrictions - such as the rule of six and the 10pm curfew - two households will no longer be able to mix indoors, including pubs and restaurants.

Londoners were last night spared the double blow of also having the city's transport system grind to a halt after an eleventh hour bailout of TfL was struck after a day of high-stakes talks.

Some in the capital were left puzzled that they were being hit with new restrictions when data revealed that places such as Devon, Oxford and Coventry had higher infection rates but were in the lowest Tier 1.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford snaps at criticism of 'firebreak'

  Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford snaps at criticism of 'firebreak' Mark Drakeford could not hide his frustration as he was repeatedly questioned on the restrictions, which come into force from 6pm for 17 days. He insisted they were 'fair' and crucial to stop the spread of the virus. But when he was challenged over whether it was 'essential' for parents to buy new school trousers if their children ripped them, Mr Drakeford moaned: 'It is just the wrong way to approach this whole business.'We are back to the ''how do you we get round the rules'' approach to coronavirus.' He added tetchily: 'There is a bigger prize at stake here than whether you need to buy a candle or not.


Video: PM's warning to local authorities (Sky News)

Yet the capital's mayor Mr Khan has said ministers are not going far enough and called for a short national circuit breaker, which is also being advocated by Mr Burnham who yesterday refused to cave to the PM's threats.

The PM warned Mr Burnham he would impose Tier 3 measures on Greater Manchester if they could not reach an agreement as he warned of a 'grave' situation.

Speaking from Number 10, he said: 'I cannot stress enough: time is of the essence. Each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.'

Mr Burnham and council leaders across Greater Manchester responded by insisting they have done 'everything within our power to protect the health of our residents', and said people and firms need greater financial support before accepting the lockdown.

They also suggested in a joint statement that Downing Street had delayed discussions, adding: 'We can assure the Prime Minister that we are ready to meet at any time to try to agree a way forward.'

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First Minister Mark Drakeford backs 'radical socialist traditions'

  First Minister Mark Drakeford backs 'radical socialist traditions' MAX AITCHKINSON: The man responsible for plunging Wales into a 17-day lockdown is an atheist, a republican - and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, a keen player of the ukulele. But then, First Minister Mark Drakeford is not your typical politician.He promised to follow 'radical socialist traditions' when he was elected Welsh Labour leader in 2018 and, as a long-time supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, backed his bid for the Labour leadership in 2015.At the time, he said Mr Corbyn was the candidate 'whose views most closely reflect my own'.

The source, who was not named, revealed the government is buying new machines capable of processing 150,000 tests per day with the aim of trebling the current capacity of 300,000.

Separately, trials of pregnancy-style tests which could provide results in just 15 minutes will begin in northern hotspots from next week.

'It's going pretty well,' the scientist told The Times. 'They have really scaled up their capabilities. By Christmas we'll be at a million a day, I think.  That seems perfectly possible.'

Mr Johnson told a No 10 press conference on Friday that the new tests were 'faster, simpler and cheaper' and that work was being done to ensure they could be manufactured and distributed in the UK.

Despite talks with Greater Manchester ending in stalemate, a deal was done with Lancashire region's leaders where 1.5million people are now living under Tier 3 to stem the 'unrelenting rise' in cases in the North West.

Labour's council leaders in Lancashire said they had been forced to accept the measures, with South Ribble's Paul Foster saying they were 'blackmailed' and Blackpool's Lynn Williams adding they had 'no option' to agree, as they secured an extra £30million of funding.

Pubs and bars across Lancashire will close unless they serve food and alcohol as part of a sit-down meal, while stricter restrictions on socialising will also come into force.

People will not be able to mix with others in any indoor setting or private garden, as well as in most outdoor hospitality venues.

Casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers, betting shops, soft play areas and adult gaming centres will be forced to shut, while car boot sales will also be banned.

But gyms will remain open despite them being closed in the Liverpool City Region - the only other area under Tier 3 restrictions.

Yesterday 15,650 coronavirus cases were recorded in the UK and 136 more deaths as the country grapples with a second surge of the virus.

Sage said the reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission for the whole of the UK had nudged up to between 1.3 and 1.5.

The group also said there had been no change to the course of the pandemic in the last month, suggesting no effect from measures such as the rule of six.

However, at the Downing Street press conference, England's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the R was not growing as fast as it would be without the measures people were following.

The PM said he would try to avoid a national lockdown but was under growing pressure to impose a short circuit-breaker'.

Britain's biggest teaching union on Friday rowed in behind Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in calling for an urgent two-week circuit breaker.

The Education Union (NEU) said the move, which would see secondary schools and colleges in England closed for two weeks at half-term, was urgently needed to bolster the test and trace infrastructure.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: 'Heads, teachers and school staff understand the educational impact of this, but we also understand that in exponential epidemics early action is essential. Taking action now can avoid more disruption later.'

On Friday, figures from the ONS showed that the highest rates of infection in England continue to be among young adults and secondary school pupils.

Mr Courtney added: 'This should be no surprise to either the Prime Minister or the Department for Education - scientists have consistency told them that secondary students transmit the virus as much as adults, and we have warned them that because we have amongst the biggest class sizes in Europe we have overcrowded classrooms and corridors without effective social distancing.

'Our classrooms often have poor ventilation, leading to airborne transmissions, and in many areas we have also have overcrowded school transport where children are mixing across year-group bubbles.

'These children live in families and are part of communities, so even if they have few or no symptoms themselves they are still part of spreading the virus to others, including to teachers and other school staff.'

He added: 'Such a circuit-breaker could allow the Government to get in control of the test, track and trace system, and get cases lower to allow the system to work better.'

Mr Starmer has said a complete shutdown lasting two to three weeks could be timed to take place over half-term to minimise disruption but warned 'sacrifices' would have to be made to get the virus back under control.

The growing calls come as a raft of statistics published this afternoon showed cases are still surging in England by as many as 28,000 new infections per day, according to ONS estimates for the first week of October.

The row continued as people in Tier 2 or 3 areas in England, as well as the central belt of Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland, were banned from entering Wales from 6pm on Friday.

WHAT ARE THE THREE TIERS?

TIER 1/MEDIUM

TIER 2/HIGH

TIER 3/VERY HIGH:

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First Minister Mark Drakeford backs 'radical socialist traditions' .
MAX AITCHKINSON: The man responsible for plunging Wales into a 17-day lockdown is an atheist, a republican - and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, a keen player of the ukulele. But then, First Minister Mark Drakeford is not your typical politician.He promised to follow 'radical socialist traditions' when he was elected Welsh Labour leader in 2018 and, as a long-time supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, backed his bid for the Labour leadership in 2015.At the time, he said Mr Corbyn was the candidate 'whose views most closely reflect my own'.

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