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Boris Johnson facing pressure from MPs to close construction sites – Metro.co.uk

Metro.co.uk

He is likely to be quizzed about the advice during today’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

Boris Johnson is likely to be quizzed about rules for construction workers today (Picture: PA/ 10 Downing Street)
Boris Johnson is facing increasing pressure to stop non-essential construction workers heading to building sites despite the UKs coronavirus lockdown.
So-far, the government has ruled that construction workers can continue so long as they observe social distancing guidelines, which includes being more than two metres apart from one another. However, pictures from across the country have shown the rules are not easily put into practice on-site.
MPs from across the political spectrum are now calling for new rules to be put in place so that workers are no longer put at risk and public transport, which has been scaled back during the pandemic, is not overwhelmed.
Johnson is likely to be quizzed about the continuation of construction work during todays Prime Ministers Questions, which will take place at 12pm in the House of Commons.
The Prime Minister has kept building sites open (Picture: 10 Downing Street)
MPs say the sites are dangerous for workers due to the coronavirus (Picture: PA)
Former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith told BBCs Newsnight: I think the balance is where we should delete some of those construction workers from going to work and focus only on the emergency requirements.
While Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, reprimanded the government for making decisions based on economic reasons.
He said: When youre in the middle of a global pandemic, health reasons alone really should be guiding all decision-making.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell further noted that the UK will not beat the pandemic with half measures.
Workers have been told to stand two metres apart (Picture: PA)
Politicians have argued on behalf of workers health (Picture: PA)
He said: Telling people to lock themselves in for three weeks but then saying they can mix with numbers of other workers on construction sites is irresponsible, dangerous and self-defeating.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also made his position on continued construction work clear and told the Prime Minister during an emergency meeting that the sites should be closed.
Government accused of ‘putting money above lives’ by letting builders go to workSpeaking on ITVs Good Morning Britain, he said: My view is no [they should not be open], and I made that point quite forcibly at yesterdays Cobra, I made that point quite clearly to the Prime Minister. According to the Governments advice the answer is yes.
The UK death toll from Covid-19 currently stands at 424, after a further 89 people died the biggest daily rise in numbers the country has seen so-far.
There are now 8,077 confirmed cases of the virus in the nation, up 1,427 from 6,650 on Monday.
Many workers fear losing their jobs if they stay at home (Picture: PA)
Johnson has been accused of only thinking about the economy (Picture: PA)
Construction workers said on Tuesday described feeling angry and unprotected as they were told to come into work by their employers less than 24 hours after Johnson ordered Britons to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
One construction industry source told Metro.co.uk: Whilst the public are getting mauled for ignoring government advice on social distancing, these companies dont seem to be helping the situation with their sites staying open where social distancing is almost impossible.
War hero, 98, becomes UK’s oldest survivor of coronavirus after making full recoveryThis is also affecting the transport during the rush hour where most will be travelling to work on reduced services all at the same time mingling with the key workers who we desperately need at this time, putting them at unnecessary risk. From the way I see it if this is allowed to continue then the governments measures will be in vain and society as a whole will suffer.
Workers whose construction sites remain open are scared of catching coronavirus and taking it back to their families, but fear losing their jobs if they dont show up.
A crane operator at a London construction site with 400 to 500 workers was told to just carry on until told otherwise.
The man, who asked not to be named, added: (Its) scary really Ive got a family and kids at home. Im in London around all these people (who are) bringing it all back into an isolated home.

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