THE LEADER of Bradford Council has hit back with a scathing response to an MP who released a video questioning the need for the whole district to be under new restrictions.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe described the footage published by Keighley and Ilkley MP Robbie Moore on social media website, Facebook, as "misinformed".

In the video, Mr Moore explains a shared frustration with his constituents who have worked "incredibly hard to keep our transmission rates as low as possible".

He said: "I know that this is frustrating when many of us are having to adapt to new lockdown measures when we're not seeing that new transmission rate increasing.

"The decision for the whole constituency to be included within these new restrictions was made by Bradford Council, but signed off by Government.

"I am now having regular conversations with our Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, who has assured me that he'll be reviewing the situation within a weeks time.

"Because I want to see restrictions much more localised, geographically, so that places within the constituency, that are not exposed to high transmission rates, can be excluded.

"So that we can all crack on and get back to our new normal as quickly as possible."

Cllr Hinchcliffe said: "We want to work with Government to make sure that the regulations are followed and the infection rates come down.

"We should all be working towards that end.

"Arguing about whose responsibility these local restrictions are is therefore unhelpful and distracting to the effort of the nation and of the district to fight this virus.

"The truth of the matter is that as a district which has been consistently in the top five for infection rates in the country since the data first came out, Bradford Council is inevitably in conversation with Government.

"Naturally they want assurances from us that we are taking the virus seriously."

The Leader of Bradford Council also dealt with the claims that the local authority made the decision for the whole district to be included in the new restrictions.

She said: "It is a fact that Bradford Council has no powers to close any sector or any part of the district down.

"These are Government powers that they exercise, decisions which they take without us in the room.

"Given our high infection rates, it would have been extraordinary for Government not to put restrictions on Bradford district but only to put restrictions on our neighbouring authorities, who have much lower infection rates.

"The big surprise announcement for us was the social restrictions affecting household mixing brought in with two hours’ notice.

"I heard about these first from Matt Hancock’s Sky News announcement."

Mr Moore also claims in the video that no new COVID cases are coming through in many parts of the constituency and uses this as a basis for explaining his people's frustration.

Cllr Hinchcliffe feels the MP is singling out certain areas and not providing words of encouragement for those in the wards of his constituency that have higher infection rates.

She said: “Keighley constituency has its own hot spots of infection.

"I believe Robbie Moore is speaking up for only some parts of his constituency when he talks about 'low transmission rates' and is not thinking about those parts of his constituency which have much greater degrees of infection, people who have had to work throughout the lockdown in frontline jobs, living in smaller houses with no gardens.

"This inevitably means they will be more vulnerable to infection.

"He seems to have no message or words of encouragement for the people in these wards with higher infection rates in his constituency, he only has words of support for those in more affluent parts of his constituency.

"Understandably these people are weary of COVID-19 but until we've all got low infection rates it’s not beaten yet."

A permanent testing site could be coming to Keighley too due to the constituency's "high number of COVID infections", according to Cllr Hinchcliffe.

She said: "Looking at the latest data Keighley Oakworth Road and West Lane (in Keighley constituency) had more positive cases last week than Manningham and Undercliffe.

"Keighley constituency has a high number of COVID infections and we are asking Government for a permanent testing site there to help increase the accessibility for testing."

The Leader of Bradford Council also outlined that Mr Moore must now explicitly show his support for the Government's regulations at a vital time for the people he represents.

She said: "It is important that as the MP, Robbie Moore states that he supports his Government’s regulations to keep the infection down in his constituency.

"His latest video suggests that he doesn’t support his Government’s regulations.

"Serious times call for strength and steel."