BRADFORD'S MPs have called on the public to continue to take precautions to stop a possible U-turn on the easing of lockdown this week.

The district is on a watchlist of areas of England where strict lockdown may have to be reimposed because of rising coronavirus cases like it was in Leicester this week.

Philip Davies (Con, Shipley) said: “All the district MPs had a conference call with Bradford Teaching Hospitals yesterday. Given the similar demographics between Leicester and Bradford there is clearly an understandable concern.

"People need to be aware that a further lockdown in Bradford is not beyond the realms of possibility and so must keep to the social distancing rules and keep washing their hands.

"I certainly do not want to see any extension of the lockdown in any part of the district and very much hope that doesn’t happen which would be devastating for local businesses and the local economy.”

Judith Cummins MP (Lab, Bradford South) said: "Reports that Bradford has a higher than average number of infections are extremely concerning. I am in contact with Public Health England and I am urging the Government to outline the steps being taken to reduce the infection rate in Bradford.

"The Government must publish all the relevant data - including Pillar 2 testing figures – as soon as possible so that public bodies can plan and to provide clarity for the public and businesses. The Government's approach, including Matt Hancock's muddled media statements accidentally naming Keighley, has not been good enough and has left many people worried and confused.

"I am also concerned by the lack of information from the Government about how local lockdowns will work and what support will be provided to local people. For instance, areas designated as local lockdown hotspots would need financial support for people unable to work during any local lockdown. I am hoping to raise these issues in Parliament later today and expect answers from the Government.

"I urge everyone in Bradford to continue to follow the critically important public health advice. Covid-19 has not gone away."

Naz Shah MP (Lab, Bradford West) said: "The Government has been fast to ease lockdown, giving everyone reassurances based on Pillar 1 data. However, we are now discovering that there is Pillar 2 data which is particularly concerning in constituencies like mine.

"The question for the Government is simple: Why has it taken so long for this data to be made available?

"If Covid-19 has been spreading on a local scale, surely more should have been done to communicate with local authorities so that badly affected areas were able to implement local precautions to mitigate the risk of a surge in cases.

"Instead, we are learning from the news that there could be a potential local lockdown in cities like Bradford. It's important that the Government immediately gives crucial data and resources to all local authorities so that local communities can be protected."

Robbie Moore MP (Con, Keighley) said: “The Government has been following the advice of world-leading scientists, clinicians and medical professionals, many of whom make up the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE).

"I am pleased that the overwhelming majority are abiding by the social distancing measures, meaning the UK as a whole has seen a sustained fall in the rate of infection. The Government can now focus its efforts on introducing a recovery plan for the UK whilst assisting local authorities with managing localised breakouts.

“Whilst it would appear that we are winning the fight against Coronavirus, it is by no means over. People in Keighley and Ilkley have worked hard to get to where we are. I have visited many businesses and venues over the last two weeks to see the protections they have put in place.

"I have been reassured of the investment that businesses and venues have put in place to protect staff and customers. However, it is also down to all of us as well, as we must all continue to stay alert so we can control the virus and save lives.”

Imran Hussain (Lab, Bradford East) said: “I am deeply concerned by Bradford’s high number of positive tests and it just shows how important it is to continue to abide by the advice issued by public health experts, which is why I have been clear and vocal that as lockdown restrictions are eased by the Government, safety must remain a priority and cannot be compromised.

“Throughout the Coronavirus crisis I have been in frequent contact with Bradford Council and local public health officials, and it is clear that their response is being massively hindered, as it was in Leicester, by the Government and Public Health England who seem determined to deny local authorities the tools that they need.

“Since the crisis began, the test data that Bradford Council has received from the Government has been woefully inconsistent with information sometimes not received for days, costing public health officials vital time to respond. Indeed, it was only on Monday that the Health Secretary granted them access to a database of all positive tests, despite concerns having been raised weeks prior.

“Whilst I understand that Bradford Council now has access to this crucial data, restrictions imposed by the Government actually prevent them from sharing the number of positive tests with local voluntary organisations assisting in the response, or even with the NHS in Bradford, creating an absurd position where they are unable to act on the information that they do receive.

“In a city as diverse as Bradford with our high levels of deprivation, both of which have been proven to be risk factors in the spread and mortality of Coronavirus, we also have to ask why the Government have not taken a keener interest and responsibility, and why they failed to respond to Bradford Council’s concerns when they were raised, particularly when they knew of the prevalence of these risk factors.

“The Government’s failure to provide local authorities with the data to do their job in keeping people safe has put public health at risk, and I have written to the Health Secretary, urging him to immediately make available comprehensive and reliable information to Bradford Council, to allow them to share this information with necessary organisations, and to answer why it was not made available until now."