Former footballer Gary Neville criticized Labor’s decision to abstain from voting on coronavirus restrictions, saying: “You are the opposition, do not sit in the stands.”
“They were sitting in the stands while the home team was running clearly,” Neville said on Sunday of Sophy Ridge in connection with a vote last Tuesday on a new tiered system of government. COVID-19 rules.
The former star of Manchester United and England spoke to Sky News about a campaign he launched for more economic support to businesses during the pandemic.
Neville helped found UnitedCity to get Manchester back on its feet in support of retail, leisure, cultural and sporting businesses during coronavirus crisis.
Neville said Labor was “there to protect the disadvantaged and vulnerable,” and there was not enough economic support, “which means you have to take a stand and be courageous and go against it.”
He continued: “You cannot abstain, and this is where the people of Manchester are frustrated at the moment by the lack of leadership, I assume the protection of the people of Manchester and the communities most affected.”
Neville added: “So when you are elected and you are in that place in Westminster, you take a position, you do not stay, you take part in the match, you are the opposition.”
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party had “serious doubts” about the tiered system, but that their vote “would not be in the national interest.”
Asked about Neville’s criticism, Labor’s shadow interior minister, Nick Thomas-Symonds, told Ridge: “We didn’t sit in the stands at all, what we did was act in the national interest.”
He said the party had “accepted” that measures should be put in place, but because there was no “comprehensive health and economic strategy” alongside them, “they were not at a level where we could give them our heartfelt support, so we decided to abstain. “.
During his interview, Neville also criticized the government, calling it “in depth.”
“I have no doubt how difficult it has been in the last eight to ten months in government, I have no doubt,” Neville said.
“These are unique circumstances and I was there when I ran a football club in Valencia for four months and I was out of my depths and I was spinning and I just had to jump from the roundabout because I was finally out of my depths and I didn’t know what I do.
“That’s what I’ve felt in the last eight months I’ve seen leading this country.”
Asked if he thought the government felt from their depths, he replied, “They are from their depths, from their depths.”
Speaking about the situation in Manchester, which faced special constraints a month before the introduction of the multilevel system, Neville said: “We have economic problems, we have health problems, mental health problems, there is a lack of understanding of how we come out of uncertainty.
“We just felt that the business community in Manchester has always been resilient, the Mancunians have always come together to emerge from a crisis like this before, and it’s time to start thinking about what the future looks like.”
Neville, who has embarked on real estate development since his retirement and also works as a scholar for Sky Sports, co-owns the Stock Exchange Hotel in central Manchester with former teammate Ryan Giggs.
The couple also plans to build a 40-storey tower in the city, which will include another luxury hotel, as well as apartments and offices.
Subscribe to Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
Neville said that “the entire hospitality sector has been destroyed” by the COVID-19 program and that greater economic support is needed.
“There will have to be a decent wind with us,” he said.
“We certainly can’t continue to move and leave the levels as we are, otherwise it’s just a complete devastation of people’s livelihoods.”
Neville said he did not have a problem with coronavirus measures because “health must be a priority, but he said” lack of support and lack of planning are a big problem. “