RISHI Sunak left London for his Yorkshire constituency just hours before the capital was plunged into lockdown, HOAR can reveal.
On Friday afternoon the Chancellor made the 240-mile journey to Richmond in North Yorkshire, where his family are staying.
And he will have to spend Christmas in the market town due to the ban on travel in and out of Tier 4 areas, which covers his main home in Downing Street. Aides said he has no plans to come back and had planned to do constituency work this week. He visited a local hospital at the weekend and was shown their vaccine roll-out centre.
Aides insisted that when he left London he was unaware the new travel restrictions would be imposed barely 24 hours later.
They said he did not know what was going to be announced, saying he left before Friday’s meeting where Cabinet ministers were briefed on the need for Tier 4 due to the new strain of Covid.
Mr Sunak dialled into the crucial Covid Operations meeting in which Cabinet ministers agreed to impose an effective lockdown on 17 million people in the South East and London.
Mr Sunak has faced criticism for not appearing publicly since a third of the country was put in effective lockdown on Sunday and the Government’s decision to cancel Christmas bubbles.
Opposition parties have demanded he release more financial support to tens of thousands of businesses forced to shut in Tier 4 areas.
The Labour party even mocked him up in a ‘missing persons’ poster asking: “Where’s Rishi? Last seen in Parliament 1 December. No word since Tier 4 was announced.”
The Treasury said he has already announced more generous support for businesses hit by Tier 3 and 4 restrictions through higher business grants.
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