AN MP has slammed the Government for gambling with people's lives.

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas pointed to mounting evidence that the lockdown was being eased too early as she tore into Boris Johnson's "roadmap".

The former Green party leader said: "Lockdown is being lifted before the Government’s own five tests are met.

"Scientists say it's too soon. Public health officials say social distancing has broken down. Police say new rules are unenforceable.

"It feels as if we are part of huge gamble by a Government which has lost control of Covid."

In April, secretary of state Dominic Raab revealed the Government would look for five criteria to be met before lockdown was lifted.

The Argus:

These were that there would be confidence that the NHS could still provide critical care and specialist treatment across the UK, there was a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate and there was reliable data from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that the infection rate had fallen to manageable levels.

Mr Raab also said the Government would wait until there was sufficient testing capacity and PPE to meet future demand and there was no risk of a second peak which could overwhelm the NHS.

But lockdown rules have been steadily eased in recent weeks with unlimited outdoor exercise and driving indefinite distances for recreation now allowed - having initially been forbidden.

Today, the latest loosening of the rules allows up to six people from different households to meet in public and private outdoor spaces, so long as they adhere to social distancing rules.

But there are concerns that these relaxed lockdown rules will encourage more and more people to disregard the guidelines in place.

Crowds of people descended on Brighton beach over the weekend, causing the city's council to urge the Government to issue them additional powers to impose a local lockdown.

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Nancy Platts said: "When skies are clear blue and temperatures are in the mid 20’s, it’s normally the time when Brighton and Hove loves to welcome visitors from around the world.

"But we are still nowhere near being back in normal times.

The Argus:

“Despite lockdown measures being eased, meaning people can travel to spend time at their favourite places to visit, we’re worried that the impact of this on popular visitor destinations like Brighton and Hove hasn’t been fully thought through.

“Because so many people love coming to our city, this potentially puts people’s safety at risk and could undo all the work to prevent Covid-19 spreading which was achieved during lockdown.

“We have several specific challenges in Brighton and Hove that we and the police are trying to manage, but in reality, our resources are limited and our powers few when it comes to the scale of the task.

“We need more powers from central government to be able to call and implement a local lockdown if we see cases of Covid-19 increase in the city.

The Argus:

“At the moment this is still being discussed in Whitehall but to be able to act quickly we need to be able to undertake the actions we feel best protect the people who live here and the NHS staff and key workers who work here.

“We need to hear from Government on this as a matter of urgency."

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. To donate visit