BRADFORD Council has responded after a local MP said that officials from the district have been “invited” to discuss the possibility of going into a Tier 3 lockdown.

Speaking in parliament on Monday night, Bradford West MP Naz Shah said that council officials have been told to “enter into talks” over Bradford potentially heading into the highest level of the government’s new three-tier system.

Bradford Council said that a joint West Yorkshire meeting is on the cards, where discussions on a Tier 3 lockdown could take place, although the meeting's agenda has not yet been confirmed.

The Bradford district is currently under Tier 2 restrictions - along with neighbours Leeds, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield - which prohibits the mixing of households, enforces the ‘rule of six’ in private gardens and outdoor spaces and has a 10pm curfew for pubs and bars.

Tier 3 would see harsher restrictions, including the closure of pubs - unless they can operate as a restaurant - as well as stricter measures on travel, shop closures and households mixing.

Shah told the House of Commons on Monday that “public health authorities and the local authority were told that we should now enter into talks to consider going into the highest tier", adding today that Bradford Council has been "invited" to begin discussions.

She said that this news has "come as a surprise" to people in Bradford and has also "shocked" her, arguing that "it was not what I was told in the calls with the secretary of state or in any other calls".

Shah raised a debate on how a Tier 3 lockdown could affect the district, speaking on issues such as child poverty and potential job losses.

She said on Monday: "I ask the minister directly: how does he expect people to survive in a constituency such as Bradford West, which has rising rates of child deprivation and is currently under additional restrictions, if their places of work were to close?

"Do not he and the government see how the lack of adequate support alongside these restrictions will, rather than preventing a rise in child poverty, lead to an increase in child poverty in constituencies such as mine?

"If these measures are to be effective, the support needs to be adequate. I therefore ask him to speak to the chancellor and consider additional funding support for constituencies like mine.

"I know this government may not have the political will to try to reduce child deprivation in constituencies such as mine, but I sincerely hope that they have the moral will to do so."

In response, a Bradford Council spokesperson said today: "All regions in the north of England have been asked one-by-one to go to their own regional meeting with government, Bradford will be part of the West Yorkshire meeting when it takes place.

"As yet, there is no agenda for this meeting, but, from what the prime minister said earlier this week, he is anticipating that government will ask other regions to go into Tier 3.

"We have made our views clear to government repeatedly over recent weeks and months about what needs to happen next, and we will do so again this week."

In a joint statement, the leaders of West Yorkshire Councils added: “Although we have avoided Tier 3 status at this moment, we are far from complacent. Efforts to contain COVID-19 must be locally-led and properly funded so we can carry out the local contact-tracing and deep community engagement that national approaches cannot deliver.

“This must be supported by a comprehensive package of measures that sustains businesses and protects jobs until restrictions can be lifted, so that the progress we have made in improving the standards of living for our communities is not lost.

“We need government to urgently respond so that we can address the rising infection rates that are putting our NHS services under increasing pressure, and to avoid the additional damage to the West Yorkshire economy that would be caused by moving into Tier 3 restrictions.”