Johnny Marr praises Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser for launching legal action over local lockdown plans

Sacha Lord is among leaders in the north of England challenging the government over the impact that lockdown measures will have on the beleaguered hospitality industry

Johnny Marr has praised Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, for leading legal action against the UK government over the detrimental impact that a local lockdown would have on the hospitality sector in the north of England.

News of this legal challenge comes ahead of Boris Johnson’s expected announcement today (October 12) of a three-tier lockdown strategy for England in order to prevent a further rise in coronavirus cases. Further lockdowns in areas severely affected by the pandemic could see pubs, bars and restaurants closing their doors again.

Lord, who co-created Parklife festival and The Warehouse Project, has confirmed that he is seeking a judicial review into any further restrictions that might be placed on hospitality and entertainment venues across the north of England.

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Leaders in Greater Manchester have not seen “any tangible scientific evidence to merit a full closure” of venues in the area, according to Lord.

“Despite discussions and ongoing calls for data, we have not yet been shown any tangible scientific evidence to merit a full closure of the hospitality and entertainment sectors across Greater Manchester,” he said. “We have therefore been left with little choice but to escalate the matter further.”

Marr was among those to praise Lord for taking legal action, retweeting a clip of the latter’s interview on Good Morning Britain today and writing: “Well done and respect @Sacha_Lord for clarity and common sense. It’s good to have Mancunians represented by someone speaking with insight and intelligence.”

Lord’s legal action has also received the backing of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and The British Beer and Pub Association.

“The industry has been left with no other option but to legally challenge the so called ‘common sense’ approach narrative from Government, on the implementation of further restrictions across the North of England,” Michael Kill, chief executive of the NTIA, said.

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“These new measures will have a catastrophic impact on late-night businesses, and are exacerbated further by an insufficient financial support package presented by the Chancellor in an attempt to sustain businesses through this period.”

Kill added: “This next round of restrictions are hugely disproportionate and unjust, with no scientific rationale or correlation to PHE transmission rates, when compared to other key environments.

“Systematic closure of businesses across the UK must be challenged when there is no clear evidence or reason.”

Earlier today Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, tweeted that he and other local leaders “are looking to Parliament to back our calls for a fair local furlough scheme and full business and self-employed support for all areas facing restrictions”.

“Please contact your MP this morning and ask them to support us,” he added.

Last week Marr was among a host of musicians who responded to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s suggestion that people should “adapt” their jobs during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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