A COUNCIL chief has accused the government of repeated delays over school closures following Boris Johnson’s announcement that they will shut as part of a new national lockdown.

Many primary schools in Brighton did not open on Monday after being advised by the council to close for the first two weeks of January on Saturday.

The decision was made despite the Prime Minister’s advice on Sunday that primary schools in Brighton and Hove should stay open and that schools are safe.

Hannah Clare, who chairs the children’s committee at Brighton and Hove City Council, said the decision came after the Government had “delayed and delayed and delayed”.

She said: “We made the difficult decision that Government weren’t brave enough to face.

“As with most things from Government throughout… the right decision was pointed out a long time ago and they have delayed and delayed and delayed.

“For us it was a case of looking at what the level in our wider community was and what it was going to be and seeing that it was the right decision to make.”

Last night, Boris Johnson announced England would be placed under a third national lockdown with heightened restrictions across the country.

Schools will move to remote learning for all pupils other than vulnerable children and those whose parents are critical workers.

This has been introduced in an attempt to stop the spread of a new, more transmissible strain of Covid-19 which caused cases to soar in the South East.

The restrictions in Sussex, which was previously in Tier 4 of the government's coronavirus alert system, will be altered in several ways.

"Tier 4 - Stay at Home" was the government's highest level of coronavirus restrictions.

But the "Stay at Home" message will be reinforced under the national lockdown, with people urged not to leave the house unless making an essential trip such as food shopping or picking up medication.