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Councils given five minutes’ notice of local lockdown confirmation

Exclusive: Hartlepool and Middlesbrough councils received draft press release just before Matt Hancock statement

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Council leaders in England were given five minutes’ notice of local lockdown rules being confirmed in their areas, according to emails seen by the Guardian.

Amid growing calls for local authorities to have more control over restrictions, Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, is urging ministers to put councils “in the driver’s seat”.

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