Sheffield MP says 'country deserved better' after steps towards lifting lockdown announced

A Sheffield MP has said the country “deserved better” from Boris Johnson’s statement on how the Government will begin to lift the lockdown.

On Sunday evening the Prime Minister announced, among other steps, that some workers who cannot work from home - such as those in the construction and manufacturing industries – should be “actively encouraged” to go to work from Monday (11 May).

Mr Johnson said the Government “have been working to establish new guidance for employers to make workplaces COVID-secure”, and encouraged commuters to avoid public transport if possible.

But he was criticised by opposition politicians and union leaders for a lack of clarity on the new guidelines and whether workers’ safety can be guaranteed yet. It is unclear whether any guidelines have been finalised and are in place.

Paul Blomfield.

Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central said: “Telling people to return to work tomorrow morning without clear guidelines for workplaces, and asking those who have no alternative to avoid public transport, will cause confusion and anxiety.

“After the big build up to this statement, the country deserved better.”

Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “What the nation was looking for this evening was clarity and consensus. The truth is, the Prime Minister’s statement raises more questions than it answers.

“Those questions need answering if the public is going to have confidence in what happens next.”

The Prime Minister said he will be setting out more details on in Parliament on Monday and taking questions from the public in the evening.