Lancashire's Police Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw criticises Government's lockdown measures

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s police crime commissioner, has heavily criticised the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic saying they ‘have failed us at every stage.’

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 6:00 am

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s police crime commissioner, has heavily criticised the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic saying they ‘have failed us at every stage.’

Mr Grunshaw posted the thoughts on his personal Facebook page and not in the capacity of his professional role.

The comments were posted on Friday in reaction to the Government extending the Covid-19 lockdown period for at least an additional three weeks.

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Clive Grunshaw

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab told the daily Downing Street briefing that a review had concluded relaxing the measures now would risk harming public health and the economy.

Mr Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from the illness, said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are now at both a delicate and a dangerous stage in this pandemic.

“If we rush to relax the measures that we have in place we would risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made.

In a response to the announcement, Mr Grunshaw said: “So Raab is now proclaiming that ‘there’s light at the end of the tunnel’. Another three weeks of lockdown and then, presumably, the end of the crisis will be in sight? Let’s be clear this is utter nonsense.

“We have a government that have failed us at every stage. What will it take for some people to open their eyes and stop blindly accepting what is going on?

“They chose a herd immunity strategy allowing people to catch the disease and die in such numbers that eventually those surviving would have immunity.

“Callously accepting that this would kill many elderly and vulnerable people. Their only mitigation, to slow the spread of the disease is lockdown.”

Further in the post Mr Grunshaw wrote: “The point is that lockdown is achieving nothing (other than flattening the peak) without mass testing. Testing for those with Covid-19 and testing for everyone who may have had it (the rest of the population) to identify, trace and isolate the infection - until such time that a vaccine becomes available.

“This isn’t rocket science, it’s stating the bleeding obvious.

“This government started on the wrong path and have become lost and confused. As the saying goes ‘there’s none so blind as those that will not see’. Make them see, don’t wait until this is all over. It will be too late.”

When asked about his comments Mr Grunshaw said despite that some people may say it shouldn’t be a political issue he said ‘it clearly is.’

He said: “We don’t have a government of national unity. What I am seeing is a government making political decisions daily, on the biggest crisis that we have faced in my lifetime, without effective political scrutiny. That should change once parliament returns but, in the meantime, public opinion is important as the best means to hold government to account.”

He added: “Clearly the end point to the danger of coronavirus is an effective vaccine. In the meantime test, track and isolate is the only way to combat the spread of the disease - in the way that has been achieved in South Korea or New Zealand.

“My overriding concern is the health, safety and wellbeing of the people of Lancashire. I will always speak out for our residents, including our amazing health workers and key workers, at every opportunity if I think it may make a difference.”

A spokesman for the Lancashire Police Crime Commissioner’s office said: “As this is a personal post on Clive’s own Facebook account it is not something we can facilitate, it is political in nature and so would be one directly for him as opposed to his role as PCC and thus not one for his office.”