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Manchester’s coronavirus rate has risen FIFTEEN-fold since local lockdown came in

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manchesters coronavirus rate has risen fifteen fold since local lockdown came in

Manchester’s coronavirus infection rate has increased more than 15-fold since local lockdown was brought in, as Mayor Andy Burnham warns of a ‘winter of dangerous discontent’.   

The latest figures have revealed that badly hit Manchester now faces a rate of 335.9 cases per 100,000 individuals.

This is far worsened from the figure of 20 per 100,000 which it held at the end of July when local lockdowns were enforced in Manchester and the surrounding areas of Salford, Bury, Trafford, Tameside, and Rochdale.

Now Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, believes the worsening number of cases and ‘perceived unfairness’ of its lockdowns could see the government ‘losing the public in the North’. 

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham who has said decisions on easing or tightening local coronavirus lockdown restrictions should not be "imposed" by the Government

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham who has said decisions on easing or tightening local coronavirus lockdown restrictions should not be "imposed" by the Government

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham who has said decisions on easing or tightening local coronavirus lockdown restrictions should not be ‘imposed’ by the Government

Burnham said: ‘Without urgent change, the North of England will be thrown into one of the most difficult winters we have ever experienced, with the risk of significant harm to health and our economy. It’s that serious.

‘We are heading into the winter months with a Test and Trace system which is still not working and the risk of redundancies rising sharply as the furlough scheme comes to an end. Without extra support for individuals, business and councils, it could be a winter of dangerous discontent.’

Speaking to Sophy Ridge of Sky News yesterday, Burnham warned of a widening ‘north-south divide’ with local lockdowns mainly in place in northern regions. 

He has previously said that decisions on easing or tightening local coronavirus lockdown restrictions should not be ‘imposed’ by the Government, but instead handled by local councils.

Many regions and cities of the north including Manchester (pictured), Salford, Bury, Trafford, Tameside, and Rochdale, have been subject to local lockdowns

Many regions and cities of the north including Manchester (pictured), Salford, Bury, Trafford, Tameside, and Rochdale, have been subject to local lockdowns

Many regions and cities of the north including Manchester (pictured), Salford, Bury, Trafford, Tameside, and Rochdale, have been subject to local lockdowns

In place of blanket lockdowns Burnham proposes a new ‘three tiers’ policy for restrictions with ‘more meaningful consultation and proper support for the areas affected’ which he says is ‘not happening at the moment’.  

The approach would see different lockdown measures imposed depending on the severity of the risk in the area. 

The mayor warned: ‘We have now reached a point where there is a real risk of the Government losing the public in the North because of the perceived unfairness of its local lockdown policies.

‘We can’t let that happen. There is still time to put in place better measures to protect communities across the North this winter but time is running out.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Parents’ fury after pupils pack into school corridor in Dundee without face masks in shocking photo

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parents fury after pupils pack into school corridor in dundee without face masks in shocking photo

Parents have slammed a school in Dundee after pupils at the Harris Academy were seen packed into a corridor after two tested positive for covid. 

The schoolchildren were reportedly stuck in the narrow corridor as a result of a prank orchestrated by a small group of pupils.

An investigation has been launched after video emerged showing scores of youngsters packed into a confined space. 

Parents have expressed their horror at the video which has been circulating on social media amid a spike in the city’s infection rate.

The corridor was reportedly blocked due to a pupil prank

The corridor was reportedly blocked due to a pupil prank

Schoolchildren are packed together in the tight space

Schoolchildren are packed together in the tight space

Pupils at Harris Academy in Dundee,  Scotland, are packed tightly together in a school corridor with many unable to social distance in the crammed space

One called the situation ‘diabolical’ and said they were concerned over their children’s safety.  

The pile up is understood to have caused by pupils blocking the corridor which leads to a dining area.

The clip also shows an adult – likely to be a member of staff – pushing through the crowd in the opposite direction. 

One angry parent said: ‘We are trusting that the school is as safe as it can be and with cases increasing day by day this video worries me.’

Another said: ‘For a school that’s had two confirmed cases this week this should definitely not be happening.

‘There should be staggered exits and teachers making sure the corridors are cleared.

‘Any pupils causing this should be dealt with appropriately.’ 

Describing the scene as ‘diabolical’, another said: ‘I’m surprised the whole school hasn’t got Covid.’

It comes after two pupils at the school tested positive for Covid-19.  

Some parents said their children had reported frequent crowding, but others said the incident was isolated and praised the school’s efforts to enforce safety measures.

Scottish Government guidance does not require physical distancing between young people in secondary schools but states it should be promoted where possible.

In line with other schools, Harris Academy has introduced one-way corridors and signs directing pupils and staff where to walk, alongside enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising.

Despite opening only four years ago the £31 million school building is already at capacity with over 1,300 pupils.

The footage was filmed at Harris Academy in Dundee, where two pupils have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus

The footage was filmed at Harris Academy in Dundee, where two pupils have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus

The footage was filmed at Harris Academy in Dundee, where two pupils have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus

Harris Academy Parent Council chairman Graham McKay said: ‘Whilst I agree that the video raises questions and possible concerns, I continue to believe the school and its management are doing as much as they can to keep our young people safe in a challenging environment and following the guidance provided at a Scottish Government and local authority level.’

In a statement issued after the video’s publication, he said he had spoken to head teacher Barry Millar.

He said: ‘He has assured me that this incident was as a result of a small number of individuals preventing pupils moving through the corridor.

‘As such this will be dealt with by the school under their normal procedures.’

He also said that in line with Scottish Government guidance, schools could do no more than request that pupils wear face coverings, and he highlighted other infection control measures in place, including separate break times for junior and senior pupils and staggered lunchtimes.

A Dundee City Council spokesman said: ‘The school has fully investigated the events which happened in the corridor last week and appropriate action has been taken.

‘Refreshed guidance is being given to staff and pupils about safety when moving around the school, as well reminding young people about the need to wear face coverings.

‘The head teacher is also sending a communication to families about these issues.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Is West Yorkshire next for Tier Three? Council bosses warn tougher restrictions are needed

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is west yorkshire next for tier three council bosses warn tougher restrictions are needed

West Yorkshire may become the next part of England to move into the strictest Tier Three lockdown, with council leaders demanding tougher action to curb spiralling coronavirus cases and hospital admissions.

Local officials held crunch talks with senior ministers yesterday to discuss the ‘next steps’ in tackling Covid-19 in West Yorkshire, with further behind-closed-doors meetings scheduled in the ‘coming days’.

The region, home to around 1.8million people living in the boroughs of Leeds, Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford and Wakefield, is already under Tier Two — which means they are banned from meeting up with friends and family indoors.

But if Number 10 plunges the area into the toughest bracket, it will mean all pubs and bars have to close unless they serve meals. Residents will also be banned from mixing with anyone they don’t live with indoors or in private gardens and beer gardens.

Warrington in Cheshire became the latest place to enter Tier Three, with the rules coming into force this morning. Nottingham City, Gedling, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe will all join the toughest tier from Thursday, meaning 8million people will be living under the tightest curbs by the weekend.

Department of Health statistics show cases are rising across all five areas of West Yorkshire — with almost 9,000 new infections in the week ending October 21. But the Covid-19 outbreak in Leeds appears to have stabilised after soaring at the end of September, according to government statistics.

Despite cases continuing to rise, one local MP insisted that the area should remain in Tier Two. Barry Sheerman, Labour’s representative for Huddersfield, believes cases will ‘stabilise a bit’. And councillors and MPs in Kirklees have also said the outbreak appears to be ‘levelling off’.

It comes as northern Tory MPs have demanded a clear exit strategy out of Tier Three lockdowns. Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi today said Tier Three areas were subject to 28-day reviews and bringing the virus under control was the route out of restrictions. Clear thresholds for each of the alert levels in England have never been laid out by the Government.  

West Yorkshire may be next to move into Tier Three affecting 1.3million people. If it were to be plunged into Tier Three, it would follow neighbours South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester

West Yorkshire may be next to move into Tier Three affecting 1.3million people. If it were to be plunged into Tier Three, it would follow neighbours South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester

West Yorkshire may be next to move into Tier Three affecting 1.3million people. If it were to be plunged into Tier Three, it would follow neighbours South Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester

Almost 3,400 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in Leeds in the week to October 22, giving the city an infection rate of 415.1 per 100,000 population

Almost 3,400 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in Leeds in the week to October 22, giving the city an infection rate of 415.1 per 100,000 population

Almost 3,400 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed in Leeds in the week to October 22, giving the city an infection rate of 415.1 per 100,000 population

Bradford has the highest infection rate of all five local authorities in West Yorkshire, with 470 cases per 100,000. Some 2,537 were diagnosed in one week

Bradford has the highest infection rate of all five local authorities in West Yorkshire, with 470 cases per 100,000. Some 2,537 were diagnosed in one week

Bradford has the highest infection rate of all five local authorities in West Yorkshire, with 470 cases per 100,000. Some 2,537 were diagnosed in one week

Calderdale has an infection rate of 418.1 cases per 100,000 people

Calderdale has an infection rate of 418.1 cases per 100,000 people

Calderdale has an infection rate of 418.1 cases per 100,000 people

Wakefield's infection rate is 404.2

Wakefield's infection rate is 404.2

Wakefield’s infection rate is 404.2 

Kirklees' infection rate is 384

Kirklees' infection rate is 384

Kirklees’ infection rate is 384

The leaders of the councils across West Yorkshire said the latest data on infections and hospital admissions ‘shows a continued rise’. 

An average of 418.28 new cases per 100,000 population were diagnosed across the five authorities in West Yorkshire in the week to October 22, PA news agency analysis shows. This is up from 307.14 the week prior, in the seven days to October 15. 

Council bosses say they have made ‘repeated’ calls to the Government to take further local action, including strengthening community engagement and test and trace.

HOW MANY CASES ARE THERE IN WEST YORKSHIRE? 

Infection rate is shown as new cases in the week to October 22 per 100,000 people. The following number in brackets is cases diagnosed.  

Bradford: 470.0 (2,537)

Calderdale: 418.1 (884)

Leeds: 415.1 (3,292)

Wakefield: 404.2 (1,408)

Kirklees: 384 (1,689)

Average: 418.28

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In a statement they said: ‘Today we were invited to a meeting with senior government ministers and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer to discuss the next steps in combating Covid-19 in West Yorkshire.

‘The latest data on infections and hospital admissions shows a continued rise, and we have repeated our calls to Government that further local action needs to be taken, including strengthening community engagement and test and trace. 

‘There will be further discussions with government in the coming days.

‘We are absolutely committed to implementing the most effective measures to protect the people and economy of West Yorkshire.’

But council leaders face resistance from local MPs who say outbreaks are not spiralling out of control, including Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield, in Kirklees. 

Mr Sheerman said Kirklees should remain in Tier Two because there appears to be a ‘levelling off’ of cases, suggesting the restrictions implemented two weeks ago are working. 

He told Yorkshire Live: ‘I think we should remain in Tier Two – let’s see the data.

‘My main job as a member of parliament is the welfare of my constituents and if I saw a really big surge in admissions of hospitals and deaths, of course I would go for the strictest tier.

‘At the moment, I get a feel that we may see a levelling off locally and if so we would quite rightly stay in the same tier.’

Public Health England figures suggest that over the weekend, cases in Kirklees fell with fewer people receiving a positive Covid-19 test result. But the data is too early to be able to draw conclusions.

Overall the borough has been on a continuing upward trajectory since the end of August, with minimal evidence of cases slowing down.

Mr Sheerman added: ‘The only thing I am hopeful of is that we all saw Leeds and Huddersfield and all the university towns surge when the population really mixes up when people travel all around the country, schools went back followed by students, and people are still coming from abroad.

‘My note of optimism is that I think that is working its way through now, and we might stabilise a bit – that is my gut feeling.’   

Political leaders in Kirklees are desperate for the borough to remain in Tier Two, pleading with Boris Johnson last week to ‘make the right call’ over potential changes to restrictions that will effect some 439,000 people.

Kirklees Council’s Outbreak Control Board, compromised of Council Leader Shabir Pandor along with a group of MPs including Barry Sheerman and Jason McCartney, said it was cautiously optimistic of a drop in infection rates locally.

In their joint statement, released on Wednesday evening (Oct 21) they said: ‘Infection rates in Kirklees have been rising sharply over the last few weeks. But the latest data show signs that the increase might be levelling off. We all need to seize this opportunity to bring rates down to preserve our freedoms, protect the NHS and save lives.

‘With time and government support on improving contact tracing and our work with communities, we are confident that we can flatten the curve again.

‘Unlike other local authorities, which are now in Tier Three, Kirklees hasn’t seen exponential increases in infections. During the summer, our infection rates were in the top four local authorities in England. We are now in the top forty.’

The group said Tier Two restrictions were ‘the best route’ for Kirklees because they would save lives from Covid-19 while also keeping livelihoods afloat. 

‘We believe the current restrictions reflect our local circumstances and offer the best chance of achieving the public consent that is essential in making any restrictions work,’ the statement said.

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34892574 8883567 image a 32 1603794717900

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34423666 8883567 image a 38 1603797405942

WHAT ARE THE RULES IN DIFFERENT TIERS OF LOCKDOWN?

TIER ONE 

Tier one restrictions mirror those already in place across England.

These include the rule of six, a 10pm curfew, group sport to be played outdoors only and a maximum of 15 guests at wedding ceremonies.  

TIER TWO 

Tier two restrictions mean people are prohibited from socialising with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting

Two households may be allowed to meet in a private garden and public outdoor spaces, as long as the rule of six and social distancing are followed.

Tradespeople – such as plumbers and electricians – can continue to go into a household for work. 

TIER THREE 

Restaurants can open, but only until 10pm. 

Pubs and bars will be ordered to close unless they also operate as a restaurant.

This definition extends to pubs which sell ‘substantial’ meals, which like restaurants will be allowed to stay open but only serve alcohol to people eating a meal.

Locals are advised only to leave their areas for essential travel such as work, education or health, and must return before the end of the day.

Overnight stays by those from outside of these ‘high risk’ areas are also be banned. Households are not be allowed to mix either indoors or outdoors.     

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Bradford, home to around 350,000 people, appears to have the most cases in West Yorkshire. Some 2,537 cases were diagnosed in the week to October 22, meaning it has the most cases by population size in the county, with 470 per 100,000 people, up from 364.2 last week.

This is higher than some parts of South Yorkshire when the region moved into Tier Three on October 24.

When it was announced that South Yorkshire would go into Tier Three last week the highest infection rate was recorded in Barnsley – 423.3 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. 

Bradford is followed by Calderdale (418.1), which diagnosed 884 cases in one week across the 210,000-strong borough.    

Leeds is third, with 415.1 new cases per 100,000. A total of 3,292 cases were diagnosed in the university city last week, home to almost half a million people. The two areas with the highest rates are Hyde Park on 850.4 and Woodhouse Cliff with 856.5, according to the Government dashboard.  

However, data suggests that Leeds’ outbreak is stabilising after a sharp spike in cases when university students returned in September. It’s case rate has stayed relatively the same across October, at roughly 440 to 480 cases per 100,000.  

Wakefield diagnosed 404.2 new cases per 100,000 last week, making it the fourth worst-hit borough in West Yorkshire, followed lastly by Kirklees (384).

It comes as Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said it had closed three operating theatres at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, to enable staff to care for critically ill coronavirus patients. 

Chief executive Martin Barkley told The Independent: ‘We have seen an escalating number of Covid-positive inpatients at our trust.

‘The number of Covid-positive patients has increased from 68 patients last week to 139 patients as of 8am on Monday 26 October.

‘We have not yet had to implement all phases of our escalation plans, however, last week the trust made the crucial decision to close two elective theatres, and today a third one, at Pinderfields Hospital.

‘This has meant some planned surgery has been postponed to free up staff to support critically unwell patients who are on ventilation. These colleagues are working on our ICU.’

Over the weekend, South Yorkshire became the latest region to fall under the highest tier of controls, following Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester and Lancashire. 

Swathes of the North West and Yorkshire have been plunged into Tier Three local lockdowns in recent weeks, including Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire and Sheffield. 

Ministers finally confirmed last night Warrington, in Cheshire, would be the latest to fall under strictest measures as of today, following a spike in cases among over-60s. 

Currently more than 7million people in England are living under Tier Three lockdowns — but this figure will rise to around 8million by Thursday once the draconian measures are put into motion in Nottingham City, Gedling, Broxtowe and Rushcliffe.

A further 19million are in Tier Two, which means they are banned from meeting their friends and family indoors. 

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The Government coronavirus dashboard shows the infection rates in West Yorkshire and surrounding areas

The Government coronavirus dashboard shows the infection rates in West Yorkshire and surrounding areas

The Government coronavirus dashboard shows the infection rates in West Yorkshire and surrounding areas

It comes as Boris Johnson faces the biggest Tory challenge to his leadership since the general election after a group of 50 MPs demanded a lockdown exit strategy. 

Ministers use a so-called ‘basket’ of indicators to decide when Covid-19 restrictions need to be tightened in a given area, including cases and hospital admissions. But they’ve made no effort to clarify how much these have to be reduced in order to escape the draconian measures. 

The newly-formed Northern Research Group of Conservative backbenchers has written to Mr Johnson to warn the coronavirus crisis is threatening his pledge to ‘level-up’ the country and could ‘send the North into reverse’.

LIVERPOOL MAYOR ‘SUPPORTS TIER FOUR’ 

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said today he could support any move to place the city into a new harsher Tier 4 lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The Labour politician, who suffered the tragedy of losing his own brother to the pandemic less than a fortnight ago, said he is not opposed to the introduction of ‘tougher measures if necessary’. 

Liverpool was the first English region to be put into the top Tier 3 and is one of five northern locations currently under the strictest level of lockdown measures due to a surge in cases.

This morning Mr Anderson, whose brother Bill was one of 61 people to die with the virus in the city in one week, told BBC Breakfast: ‘(The pandemic) has taken untold damage on people’s wellbeing and a huge toll on families where people have died.

‘If anything was required to bring it down faster I would do that.

‘However, I want to make sure that we are giving tier three a chance to see if the measures have an impact.’

He added he would review the results of the Tier 3 restrictions in 14 to 16 days’ time.

A fourth tier could see restaurants and non-essential retail stores close, with the plans being explored after the Scottish Government opted for a five-tier model in which Level 4 is closer to the full lockdown implemented in March – but with schools remaining open. 

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The group, led by former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, who represents the constituency of Rossendale and Darwen, wants the Prime Minister to publish a ‘clear road map’ for Tier Three areas to leave lockdown.

They also want an economic recovery plan for the North of England, which has been battered by the ‘second wave’ of the coronavirus, unlike the South. 

Mr Berry said the Government needed to do a better job of providing the public with ‘easily digestible’ data to show how the fight against Covid-19 is progressing in order to better incentivise people to stick to the rules.

Mr Berry this morning dismissed claims of a Tory rebellion, telling the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: ‘It’s not a revolt, I don’t know how it can be a revolt for northern MPs to write to the Prime Minister to ask to work with him on delivering him on his exciting manifesto that he has a mandate for from December 2019. 

‘We are asking for the Government to reaffirm its commitment to stimulate the north by bringing forward a northern growth strategy. 

‘The reason we’ve written to the PM asking to work with him on his levelling up agenda as northern MPs is for many areas of the north we have been in restrictions similar to Tier Three, almost identical to Tier Two, since August and that’s why we want to revitalise the PM’s levelling up agenda by working with the Government to deliver for the community we as Northern MPs represent.’ 

The letter prompted an immediate charm offensive from Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi as he praised the group’s MPs for acting as ‘champions for their area’. 

He told Sky News: ‘They want to make sure that their Northern Powerhouse strategy that Jake Berry and others have worked so hard on – with myself, I’m the local growth minister as well as being the business and industry minister – is delivered.

‘That is absolutely our focus, and you will see that coming through in our refresh of the industrial strategy.’

He said Tier Three areas were subject to 28-day reviews and that bringing the virus under control was the route out of restrictions.

Mr Zahawi told LBC Radio: ‘There is some good news. I have to be very cautious about this… but what I would say if you look at the the data, where we are working really well together, the rate of increase has slowed down.

‘It’s still too high, and we’ve got to continue to protect our hospitals, make sure that we save lives, protect the NHS and of course protect livelihoods and businesses, which is why this is a balancing act.’

He added: ‘It’s a choice between two harms – the harm of the virus and the harm to the economy and to livelihoods, which ultimately also leads to health harms as well.’

Scientists yesterday cast doubt on the benefit of measures that do not go as far as those in the nationwide lockdown in March.

Researchers at the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) interviewed thousands of people about how any people they were meeting before and after the rule of six and 10pm curfew — first introduced in September.

Most participants said they had been seeing the same number of people as they did before, meaning the measure did not have the desired effect of reducing social contacts.

Scientists at Imperial College London back the idea that a full-scale lockdown is the only way to curb infections.

Their study, published yesterday, revealed antibodies have waned 26 per cent since June, and therefore the majority of Britons are still vulnerable to catching the coronavirus.   

When asked on Times Radio this morning if Tier Three restrictions were tough enough, Professor Wendy Barclay, from Imperial College London, said: ‘I think that one of the points we tried to put across yesterday in the paper was that the total lockdown that we had back in late March was enough to turn the tide, and get the virus back under control.

‘So far, none of the other restrictions that we’ve seen and none of the other actions, seem to have done that.

‘So it’s a very difficult balancing act and I think we need to keep trying to find the right formula, which allows people to get on with their lives but also gets the R number in the right direction.’

It follows the Health Secretary Matt Hancock raising fears of new tougher coronavirus lockdown restrictions under a ‘Tier Four’ in the worst affected parts of England.

It could see the closure of shops in a devastating blow to the economy, and restaurants, which, under Tier Three restrictions, can stay open and serve alcohol to people eating a meal.

The Health Secretary refused to deny that plans were being made to emulate Nicola Sturgeon’s clampdown in Scotland, involving a five-tier system.

Asked about reports that there are plans to partially copy Scotland, which has Tier 4 at the top of the five-tier system, Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: ‘We’ve always said all along that we take nothing off the table.

‘Having said that, we have seen the rise in the number of cases has slowed a bit.

‘The problem is it’s still going up, and while it’s still going up we’ve got to act to get it under control.

‘We rule nothing out but at the moment the three-tier system is what we’re working to and it’s effective in slowing the growth of this virus but it hasn’t brought this curve to a halt.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Donald Trump’s ex-political aide says Melania is sometimes ‘repulsed’ by husband

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donald trumps ex political aide says melania is sometimes repulsed by husband

A former political aide to President Donald Trump has said his wife Melania is sometimes ‘repulsed’ by her husband. 

Omarosa Manigault Newman, 46, met the President in 2004 after appearing on The Apprentice, and in January 2017 became Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison. 

She has since written a tell-all book, Unhinged, providing an insider’s of the Trump White House, which she claims the President and his legal team has tried to stop being published. 

Appearing on Lorraine today, she said what she has observed in the 17 years she’s known the couple would ‘make your head spin’ – and that Melania, 50, and her husband have a ‘very strange’ marriage where they ‘sometimes like each other’.  

A former political aide to President Donald Trump has said his wife Melania is sometimes 'repulsed' by her husband. Pictured, the President and his wife following last Thursday's final presidential debate

A former political aide to President Donald Trump has said his wife Melania is sometimes 'repulsed' by her husband. Pictured, the President and his wife following last Thursday's final presidential debate

A former political aide to President Donald Trump has said his wife Melania is sometimes ‘repulsed’ by her husband. Pictured, the President and his wife following last Thursday’s final presidential debate

Melania Trump appeared to refuse to hold her husband Donald's hand as they disembarked from Air Force One in Washington DC in August this year

Melania Trump appeared to refuse to hold her husband Donald's hand as they disembarked from Air Force One in Washington DC in August this year

Melania Trump appeared to refuse to hold her husband Donald’s hand as they disembarked from Air Force One in Washington DC in August this year 

‘It’s a very strange marriage,’ said Omarosa. ‘I’m very cautious to comment on the dynamics of a marriage because you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

‘But I have known this couple since they were dating, they got married a year after The Apprentice aired.

‘What I have observed in the last 17 years would make your head spin. Sometimes they like each other but sometimes she is repulsed by him.’ 

Omarosa claimed that the First Lady’s feelings for her husband were made clear last week when she appeared to pull her hand away from her husband after the final presidential debate.

The First Lady was pictured apparently looking startled as Trump's hand grazed against hers  during an awkward photocall with French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte in April 2018

The First Lady was pictured apparently looking startled as Trump's hand grazed against hers  during an awkward photocall with French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte in April 2018

The First Lady was pictured apparently looking startled as Trump’s hand grazed against hers  during an awkward photocall with French president Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte in April 2018 

The First Lady appeared to pull her hand away from her husband's grasp while disembarking Air Force One

The First Lady appeared to pull her hand away from her husband's grasp while disembarking Air Force One

The First Lady appeared to pull her hand away from her husband’s grasp while disembarking Air Force One

Appearing on Lorraine today Omarosa told what she has observed in the 17-years she's known the couple would 'make your head spin'

Appearing on Lorraine today Omarosa told what she has observed in the 17-years she's known the couple would 'make your head spin'

Appearing on Lorraine today Omarosa told what she has observed in the 17-years she’s known the couple would ‘make your head spin’

Some thought they spotted a moment of tension between the President and First Lady, while others dismissed it as a non-event – but Omarosa believes Melania ‘smacked it away’ from her husband.

Omarosa claims that Trump has tried to stop her from publishing her book, saying: ‘It was a crazy journey. 

‘I have known Trump for 17 years and wanted to take people on a journey and let them see what Donald Trump is like behind the curtain. 

‘Unfortunately if you speak out and speak truth to power, he will try to have an injunction. So his team of lawyers tried to stop it being published.’ 

When quizzed on whether she regrets her time in the Trump administration, she told that she did not want to turn down the chance to ‘serve her country once again’, after working in the office of Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration in the 1990s. 

Omarosa claimed there ‘had to be an adult in the room’ to focus on policy while Trump is in office, and that she did not take the decision to work for the former businessman ‘lightly’. 

‘I think it’s an important question,’ she said. ‘But any time you have an opportunity to serve your country, you have to do that.

‘He is off, he is a little crazy, but there has to be an adult in the room to help guide this country. This is the second administration I’d worked for, so when I was asked to serve my country again I didn’t take it lightly’. 

She told host Lorraine Kelly (left) that Melania, 50, and her husband have a 'very strange' marriage

She told host Lorraine Kelly (left) that Melania, 50, and her husband have a 'very strange' marriage

She told host Lorraine Kelly (left) that Melania, 50, and her husband have a ‘very strange’ marriage

Omarosa Manigault Newman, 46, (pictured with Trump in 2013)  met the President in 2004 after appearing on The Apprentice, and in January 2017 and began working for the Trump administration in 2017

Omarosa Manigault Newman, 46, (pictured with Trump in 2013)  met the President in 2004 after appearing on The Apprentice, and in January 2017 and began working for the Trump administration in 2017

Omarosa Manigault Newman, 46, (pictured with Trump in 2013)  met the President in 2004 after appearing on The Apprentice, and in January 2017 and began working for the Trump administration in 2017 

She believes that Biden is the most likely candidate for President as the US election approaches, and that she believes Trump ‘squandered the opportunity’ to create a less divided US. 

‘After 20 years in politics I can say it makes me really sad to see the division in our nation,’ she said. 

‘I expected we would unify the country in some way, but I can honestly tell you Donald Trump has squandered that opportunity.

‘There is so much negativity in the country, I cannot wait to see new leadership and someone who will take our country forward.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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