Marr slams Labour in BBC clash after Lisa Nandy struggles to explain ‘confusing’ demands

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BBC’s Andrew Marr complained that speaking with Labour MP Lisa Nandy had left him “badly confused” about the party’s position on coronavirus restrictions. In a damning interview with Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Mr Marr complained about mixed messages coming from Labour on new lockdown rules. He pointed to contradictory demands from leading Labour politicians on potential hospitality closures and the 10pm curfew.

Manchester Mayor Andy Bunrham has criticised the UK government’s response to the pandemic amid a growing north-south lockdown row.

Ms Nandy, the MP for Wigan, was grilled on whether the possible closure of bars and restaurants was “a good idea or a bad idea”.

She responded: “I think it’s starting to look like that is necessary.”

The Labour MP mentioned a private briefing from the chief medical officer last week, who said that hospitality was becoming a problem.

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However, Mr Marr rebuked this, saying that he was “now badly confused”.

He pointed out: “The Manchester City Council said a lot of emphasis has been placed on pubs, bars and restaurants but the evidence is that these are not major sources of transmission.

“Further measures risk placing an existential threat on enormous numbers of businesses and the people who work in them.

“So, why destroy all these businesses if they are not the real problem?”

Ms Nandy admitted that she was told “something different from the chief medical officer” but added that there was “no confusion in the opposition”.

The BBC host said that other areas like public transport, universities and workplaces could be bigger potential sources of transmission.

He continued: “Why are we focusing on these particular businesses?

“You all seem to be confused about this. Nobody is giving me clear information. Not the opposition, not the Government, nobody.”

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Ms Nandy said that the latest data suggested hospitality was a “major source of transmission” which was bringing coronavirus into homes particularly in the north.

She was also confronted on the fact that northern Tory MPs were preparing to vote against the 10pm curfew while Labour were planning to abstain.

Mr Marr said: “Why are you abstaining from confronting the Government on another measure that is surrounded with questions on its scientific basis?”

Ms Nandy said: “Bcause it is clear we do need further restrictions. I wish the Government would work with us and not against us.”

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