Cheltenham Lib Dems demand investigation into Government advice on Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Liberal Democrats support the calls by public health experts in calling for an investigation into whether Government advice to allow Cheltenham Races to proceed increased the spread of Coronavirus in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and nationwide. 

In advance of Cheltenham Races taking place in March, the Jockey Club sought advice from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who encouraged organisers to go ahead with the festival.  The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, as recently as Monday 20 April, defended this decision claiming that “the risk at mass gatherings was no greater or less than it would have been in pubs or restaurants.”

Since then, however, leaked maps from health officials have shown that within weeks of the festival going ahead, north Cheltenham was the region’s greatest hotspot for hospital admissions due to Covid-19, while anecdotal evidence persists of many festival attendees falling ill.

Gloucestershire Liberal Democrat Leader, Paul Hodgkinson said of the subject, “Clearly there's something going on [in Cheltenham] which isn't going on in the rest of the South West. This is all very worrying which is why questions are legitimately being asked now.”

Add your voice to our call for an investigation into Government advice to proceed with Cheltenham Races by signing the petition today.

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