Dan Walker snaps at West Midlands Mayor in lockdown row: ‘Don’t put words in my mouth’

BBC Breakfast: Dan Walker clashes with West Midlands Mayor

Dan Walker and Louise Minchin spoke both Street and Professor of Public Health Linda Bauld about the steps being taken to stop the spread of the South African variant of coronavirus on BBC Breakfast. Walker was keen to find out what the local community thought about the latest quarantine rules and introduction of surge testing but Street wasn’t impressed with his questions.

Walker asked: “Andy, I’m interested as well because you’re having quite a bit of correspondence with people in your area, as we would expect as you’re Mayor. What is the general feeling about not only the surge testing but also the quarantine measures?

“Do you think they have been largely supportive?”

“So I mean this is a question in different forms that comes from the media so often and it’s fishing for whether there is disagreement amongst the community,” Street replied.

Walker immediately cut in: “Andy, let me come back on you there. I am not fishing for disagreement at all

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“I’m just wondering what your response has been to the people you have spoken to.

“I’m not looking for disagreement at all so please don’t put those words in my mouth.”

“Alright, that’s fair enough, let me give you an answer to the question then,” Street responded.

“The reason I said that is because it doesn’t exist. The overwhelming response from the community over whatever is asked thus far has been we want to support and comply and work together to deal with this.

“Although it is the first day today, I am 100 percent certain that will be the attitude amongst residents in Walsall again.

“I just think it’s really important that is heard loud and clear.”

Walker replied: “That’s good to hear, thanks for that.”

Earlier in the interview, Street explained the steps being taken, commenting: “It’s all about pinpointing if there are more cases in the particular area.

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“Let’s be clear, in the Walsall area there has just been one isolated case. We hope that we have contained it.

“The individual reacted incredibly responsibly so let’s hope that the chain has been broken.

“This is about people in the immediate locality, about 10,000 people who will be offered to come to a mobile testing unit or a door-to-door service provided for them starting today.”

“The concerns seem to be that this might be being spread in the community,” Minchin chipped in.

“What can you tell us about that particular case? Can you tell us where they got it from?”

Street replied: “That’s the point, we can’t be certain where they got it from but we do know the person was incredibly responsible and followed all of the advice impeccably so we hope that it has not been passed on.

“The purpose of the testing in this area is to identify if there are any other cases there. It’s about rooting it out if it’s there.”

BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One at 6am.

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