15 October 2020
Sir Iain Duncan Smith opposes the imposition of London-wide Tier 2 restrictions

Sir Iain Duncan Smith opposes the imposition of London-wide Tier 2 restrictions and calls for restrictions to be implemented on a borough by borough basis.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green) (Con)

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to get in at the last minute, because this is a London statement. When a Minister gets a collection of London MPs together, it would be great if they could actually be allowed in to ask a question for a long enough time to save them having to scrabble into the House of Commons.

I want to follow on from the comments of my hon. Friend the Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Sir Robert Neill). London is huge. Whether people like it or not, it is very diverse, and many of the boroughs are bigger than most of the towns in the rest of the UK. Surely we need to look again at the London-wide nature of this tier 2 position. Even regional areas could be taken out. There are big disparities. I ask that we please think again. Otherwise people will say, like one constituent who rang me today, “Is this in fact a London-wide tier 2 to stop the north-south divide argument running?”

Matt Hancock

On the last point, absolutely not. This decision has been taken on the basis of the data across London. We did consider the borough by borough approach that my right hon. Friend understandably advocates, but the decision that we came to was that because cases are rising throughout the capital, it was therefore right for the capital to move as a whole. That was supported by the cross-party team who are working on this at a London level.