Andrew Mitchell urges Government co-operation with West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street.
My right hon. Friend is making a compelling case, but will he bear in mind that in the west midlands we are concerned that yesterday’s change was made on the basis of neatness, not of medical need? Will he reassure me that he will always listen carefully to the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, as these matters all develop?
Yes. The introduction of the three-level system means that, in some areas where the local area has been working so effectively to get the curve flattened, as in the west midlands, under the leadership of Andy Street—there has been a rise in the past few days of data, but essentially a huge amount of progress has been made—changes have had to be made. However, I will absolutely recommit to working with Andy Street, who is an incredibly effective voice for the west midlands, to make sure that what we can do together can best deliver to control the virus in the west midlands. I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend, who makes the case on this so effectively, because protecting our economy and protecting our health are not alternatives. We must act and keep the virus under control to protect lives and livelihoods. I strongly believe that every one of us, young or old, has the ability to suppress the virus through the actions we take and the best way to protect the vulnerable, support the NHS and protect the economy is to get the rate of transmission down.