Mixed reaction to Leicester lockdown changes

There has been mixed reaction following the Health Secretary's changes to the local lockdown rules in Leicester.

In Parliament this evening Matt Hancock announced Leicester City Centre and Oadby & Wigston would remain in lockdown, while wider areas of Leicestershire will have their restrictions lifted on July 24th.

He also announced some restrictions would be eased - though many stay in place:

  • Restrictions on schools and early years child care will be removed

  • The ban on non-essential shops will be replaced - the city council will be given the power to close shops where necessary

  • Social gatherings will still be limited to 6 people

  • Limits on travel stay in force

  • The hospitality sector will remain closed


  • The City Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, spoke to ITV Central live on our programme this evening.

He said he's "angry, frustrated, but not very surprised by the decision."

In recent days, he's called the lockdown into question.

Yesterday, he claimed he'd seen data that only 10% of the city was showing higher transmission rates, branding the local lockdown as "unnecessary and unjustified".

He said it showed:

It is no longer possible to justify the continuation of the “lockdown” across the remaining 90% of the Greater Leicester area.

Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor of Leicester - yesterday (15th July)

This evening he said:


The new lockdown boundary comes into force on July 24th Credit: Leicestershire County council

Meanwhile, Nick Rushton, the leader of Leicestershire County Council, said he's "pleased" with the boundary changes, but recognises "everyone in Oadby and Wigston will be disappointed."

I’m acutely aware that residents and businesses in the wider lockdown zone have found the last few weeks extremely tough. I’m pleased that the Secretary of State has listened to concerns and agreed to change the boundary.

We need to stop the spread of this deadly virus and we’re taking bold and decisive action to do just that. Oadby and Wigston remains a hot spot and that’s why we’re asking people in part of the borough to get tested, whether they have symptoms or not. The response from residents has been tremendous and I want to thank them for heeding our call.

I know everyone in Oadby and Wigston will be disappointed they are not coming out of lockdown yet, but it is so far above the national average for cases that we have to remain cautious. I understand why they have campaigned vigorously not to be in lockdown and I hope that the current improvements will bring that closer.

Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council

  • Labour MP Claudia Webbe's Leicester East constituency has been right at the heart of the infection zone

She's calling on a study to be carried out to investigate why Leicester in particular has sustained such high levels.


Residents in some areas who didn't think the number of people testing positive for coronavirus merited their lockdown status have spent the week heavily lobbying their councillors.

  • Before this evening's announcement, ITV Central spoke to some people in Glenfield - which will have its local lockdown restrictions removed on July 24th


  • Former Conservative cabinet minister and MP for Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire Anna Soubry tweeted out saying it "seems the Govts approach is plain wrong."


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