UK coronavirus live: government wants to extend Leicester lockdown by two weeks to fight outbreak

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Parents in England face fines if they refuse to send children back to school in September; Boris Johnson says coronavirus has been a disaster in Times Radio interview

Today’s Daily Telegraph has a splash headline saying: “PM wants Brexiteer to head the Civil Service.” The story (paywall) does not contain any quote that explicitly justifies this claim, although of course that does not mean that it isn’t true.

Tomorrow’s Telegraph front page: “PM wants Brexiteer to head the Civil Service”#TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/wzuzebtPow

I think the great thing about the civil service is that nobody should know, least of all me. I think we have a wonderful civil service. They are impartial, they are the best in the world, and who knows what his or her views will be.

How can we in government be less southern, less middle class, less reliant on those with social science qualifications and more welcoming to those with physical science and mathematical qualifications – how can we be less anywhere and more somewhere – closer to the 52% who voted to leave, and more understanding of why?

Almost every arm of government, and those with powerful voices within it, seemed estranged from the majority in 2016.

On the Today programme this morning Sir Peter Soulsby, the mayor of Leicester, revealed that the government wants to delay the easing of lockdown in city for a further two weeks to deal with the coronavirus outbreak there. But he said it had been “intensely frustrating” getting information out of central government. He said:

It was only last Thursday that we finally got some of the data we need but we’re still not getting all of it and it was only at 1.04am that the recommendations for Leicester arrived in my inbox.

What they’re suggesting is not a return to lockdown, it seems that what they’re suggesting is that we continue the present level of restriction for a further two weeks beyond July 4.

Interestingly it’s very much around the younger working-age population and predominately towards the east part of our city.

I don’t think at the moment we’re seeing a single cause or a single smoking gun on this so we need really try to dig down and find out what is going on and it’s likely to be a combination of factors.

Information has been challenging all the way through this.

It has definitely been challenging and I think as director of public health we have really been pushing for some time to ask for as complete a data set as possible because that’s how we can really effectively start to challenge these things on the ground.

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