Ex-housekeeper Maureen, 83, from Barnsley 'doesn't give a sod' about Tier 3 ...

A plucky Barnsley pensioner celebrated nationwide after an interview saying she didn't 'give a sod' about Tier 3 restrictions beat Coronavirus herself and urged the public to 'take care - but don't be afraid'.

Great-grandmother-of-two Maureen Eames, 83, told MailOnline she had been overwhelmed by supporters thanking her for her straight-talking remarks.

The outspoken octogenarian - a Notton parish councillor for 50 years -  had left no doubt of her views yesterday, branding lockdown 'ridiculous' and saying she would not be 'fastened in a house'.

And today the former doctor's housekeeper laughed off the suggestion she should be Prime Minister - but said the current PM needed to ignore scientists - and Matt Hancock.

Mother-of-two and grandmother-of- three Maureen said her electrical engineer husband of 61 years Michael, 81, had both contracted and defeated Covid-19.

She said she had decided to speak out after being infuriated by doom-mongers damaging the economy and terrifying the public.

Maureen, who grew up during World War II, said: 'Life has to go on. The biggest thing is that all the people are afraid at the moment.

'This government have scared people from the start to get them into lockdown

'We went out having meals at half price and then we are looking at another lockdown. We can’t afford it – all we need to do is keep safe and sensible

'In my lifetime I am 83 - I never thought I would feel like I was in when Germany invaded. This is a free country for God's sake – or I thought it was

'I have had the virus, I had it the end of May. I didn’t realise until I spoke to the doctor. I had a dry cough and pains in my lungs and was very, very tired.

'But I am fit and well and I got through it. After ten days I was back to normal. I didn’t consider it incredible, I am a fit person. My husband has had it too and he has recovered.'

Maureen, who was born in nearby Worsbrough and went to Kirk Balk School, became an overnight celebrity after speaking to BBC News yesterday afternoon in Barnsley about South Yorkshire going into Tier 3 of restrictions this weekend.

Mauren Eames ,82, of Barnsley, revealed she and her husband had survived coronavirus themselves back to health

Mauren Eames ,82, of Barnsley, revealed she and her husband had survived coronavirus themselves back to health

Maureen on her travels round the world, pictured in Australia back in 2002. She and her husband travelled across the globe

Maureen on her travels round the world, pictured in Australia back in 2002. She and her husband travelled across the globe

She told the broadcaster she thought it was 'ridiculous', that vulnerable people should be kept home safe and young people should not be saddled with lockdown debt.

Maureen said: 'We should never have been in lockdown. All the people who were vulnerable should have been helped and kept home safe.

'And all the rest of us, I'm 83, I don't give a sod.

'I look at it this way, I've not got all that many years left of me and i'm not going to be fastened in a house when the government have got it all wrong.

'We need...how can we get the country on its feet? Money-wise? Where's all the money?

'By the end of this year there's going to be millions of people unemployed and you know who's going to pay for it? All the young ones. Not me because i'm going to be dead.' 

She told MailOnline she felt she had to speak out after hearing so many predictions of disaster and scaremongering.

Maureen added: 'I only went into town and I have been thinking for weeks and weeks when people have been on TV so was pleased to give my opinion.

Mauren Eames,82, and her husband Michael Eames, 81, after she became a well-known figure overnight over lockdown views

Mauren Eames,82, and her husband Michael Eames, 81, after she became a well-known figure overnight over lockdown views

Maureen from Barnsley said she didn't 'give a sod' and thought lockdown was wrong

Maureen from Barnsley said she didn't 'give a sod' and thought lockdown was wrong

Maureen's thoughts 

Outspoken pensioner Maureen's opinions have won her fans across the UK. Here are her thoughts on topics of the day

Lockdown:  'We should never have been in lockdown'

Vulnerable and shielding: 'All the people who were vulnerable should have been helped and kept home safe'

The economy: 'How can we get the country on its feet? Money-wise? Where's all the money?'

The future: 'By the end of this year there's going to be millions of people unemployed and you know who's going to pay for it? All the young ones. Not me because I'm going to be dead.'

Boris Johnson: 'I voted Conservative and I don't blame Boris for this. He needs to get his head together.

Matt Hancock:  'I think he doesn't know what he's talking about, and he's been influenced by Professor Whitty. They aren't in the real world'

Coronavirus: 'Take care, let the hospital and nurses look after the people. Let people wear the masks, get out in the fresh air and go to the businesses and the ships and go to the businesses.'

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'I’m glad that I got the opportunity to speak for the country. I have been inundated with people telling me that’s what we thing.

'A lot of people are afraid to say what I think. I'm not, I have been a parish councillor for the past 50 years. Prime Minister is a damn hard job – I don’t envy Boris

'The country can’t afford this lockdown and I have just had enough of this one. 

'My husband retired at 50 and we went around the world and when we came back the SARS pandemic was going on as well – so we got through that one too. A lot of people were wearing masks back then but we didn't.

'My solution is to take care, let the hospital and nurses look after the people. Let people wear the masks, get out in the fresh air and go to the businesses and the ships and go to the businesses. Take care - but don't be afraid.

'I don’t want to be Prime Minister. Boris has been shackled by scientists and Matt Hancock – I think Boris needs to get his head together.

'I voted Conservative and I don't blame Boris for this.

'I blame the people around him, especially Hancock. I think he doesn't know what he's talking about, and he's been influenced by professor Whitty.

'They aren't in the real world, they just don't seem to appreciate what's going off in the country and it's harming the country listening to them.'

Maureen was widely praised for her stance by people online, who said she had shown grit and spirit. 

Richard Morgan said: 'This is the woman I want to see asking the questions to Boris and his "scientists" at their press conferences. Then we’d see a bit of change I’m sure.

'Now if only our politicians had the same honest courage and common sense as this fine lady. That’s what we need and what we are so lacking' 

Maureen's outspoken views won her an army of admirers who flocked online to praise her for her stance and her advice

Maureen's outspoken views won her an army of admirers who flocked online to praise her for her stance and her advice

Sally Reading said: 'Could we get the lovely lady from Barnsley to speak to this Government, she's a very savvy 83 years and could certainly teach them a lesson or two.' 

Their thoughts were echoed by users on Twitter who said he thoughts on the cost of lockdown were spot on.

Atlanticspan said: 'Well done to the 83 years young Barnsley lady, interviewed on the BBC, who said she's not got that many years left,doesn't give a sod about 'lockdown' and said it'll be the young picking up the bill for the billions spent on this Government's folly.'

Patrick Gerard McGuinness added: 'At least one Brit who still loves life & liberty over fear.'

Nelly-O said: 'Love her. Barnsley lady for PM.'

John Don said his elderly mother had a similar view as the unnamed Barnsley woman, tweeting: 'My elderly mother in the high risk category echos this and also says "Why should our youth and their futures be hindered to protect me, i've lived majority of my life, they are being prevented from doing the same to protect the likes of me". Go mum!'  

From midnight Saturday the South Yorkshire areas of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield will move under Tier 3, joining Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool. 

She was speaking following the news that South Yorkshire has secured a £41million deal with the government on entering the Tier 3 bracket - for contact tracing, enforcement and business support.

The sum granted to South Yorkshire is roughly in line with that handed to Merseyside and Lancashire, adjusting for population size.

Sheffield City mayor Dan Jarvis, who today agreed a deal for the region to be escalated to Tier Three from Saturday said he had acted 'responsibly' in reaching an agreement, taking a swipe at Manchester mayor Andy Burnham who was sidelined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after failing to come to an agreement.

Jarvis stated that 'inaction was not an option' after the number of covid-19 patients in Sheffield's hospitals had doubled over ten days. 

West Yorkshire leaders say they have been told it will not be escalated into Tier Three this week - although government sources insist discussions are still ongoing. 

The latest dramatic move means 7.3million people will be under the top level of restrictions by the weekend.

Around 1.4million of those are in the South Yorkshire areas of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Coventry will also be escalated, to a Tier 2, on Friday night. 

Official figures have shown that coronavirus infections are now falling in some of England's biggest cities including Manchester, despite Mr Hancock's threats to plunge many of them into Tier 3.

In Nottingham the rolling weekly rate of cases peaked at 1,001.2 per 100,000 people for the seven days to October 8 - the highest in England - but since then the number has been falling, currently standing at 787.6.

Manchester's current rate is 432.5, after peaking at 583.5 in the seven days to October 3, while in Sheffield it's 396.7, down from a high of 500.3 in the week ending October 7. The rate in Newcastle stands at 371.5, down from 553.8 in the same period.

Although some of the country's major cities are seeing infections tumble, the towns and boroughs around them are starting to see the steep increases, which may explain the Government's keenness to lockdown in more areas. 

Table showing the different alert levels, Tier 1 as medium, Tier 2 as high and Tier 3 as very high

Table showing the different alert levels, Tier 1 as medium, Tier 2 as high and Tier 3 as very high

Britain records 26,688 more Covid-19 cases and 191 deaths as daily infections rise by a third in a week and SAGE adviser warns crisis will peak at Christmas without a full lockdown now Official data shows number of daily infections has risen by a third in a week, up from 19,724 last Wednesday But they are still a far-cry from the true numbers seen during the peak of the first Covid-19 wave in the spring Deaths are also rising in line with the growing outbreak, with today's figure a 40% rise on the 137 last week  Professor John Edmunds was questioned by MPs on the Science & Technology Committee this morning He said Government 'not being as cautious as I would like' and he would not use the same strategy Warned 'we're looking at very high numbers of deaths' and a 'severe' peak of cases at Christmas  'Nobody expects' Tier Three lockdowns to get R rate below one, he said, so they will only stabilise outbreaks 

 By Sam Blanchard, Senior Health Reporter, for MailOnline    

Britain today recorded 26,688 more Covid-19 cases and 191 deaths as a SAGE adviser warned the second wave of coronavirus could peak at Christmas unless there is a national lockdown now.

Department of Health figures show the number of daily infections has risen by a third in a week, up from the 19,724 cases posted last Wednesday. But they are still a far-cry from the true numbers seen during the peak of the first wave in the spring, when at least 100,000 Britons were catching the illness every day.

Deaths are also rising in line with the nation's growing outbreak, with today's figure a 40 per cent rise on the 137 laboratory-confirmed fatalities added to the UK's official toll exactly a week ago. Health chiefs yesterday posted 241 more victims, in the darkest day of Britain's Covid-19 crisis since the start of June.

The figures come as Professor John Edmunds, an epidemiologist based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and member of Number 10's scientific advisory panel, told MPs that the three-tier lockdown system will only slow down the outbreak and not shrink it.

The ultimate outcome, he said, can only be stabilised 'high incidence everywhere' because 'nobody expects' the policies to bring the reproduction rate (R) in crisis-hit areas below one. If the R stays at one or above the epidemic will never shrink and Professor Edmunds warned the policy would just lead to constant pressure on hospitals and regular deaths.  

The scientist, who has already called for at least one 'circuit breaker' lockdown for the whole UK and repeated his support for one in front of MPs today, claimed the Government is 'not being as cautious as I would like'. He said England is already at the point where the NHS in the North will be under immense strain in the coming weeks, and warned he doesn't see a way out of the current situation without 'deaths in the tens of thousands'.

Official data shows, however, that infection rates are already coming down in many parts of England. A PHE report last week revealed almost a third of local authorities in the country – 41 out of 149 – saw per-person infection rates drop in the week ending October, up from only two that had a downward trend the week before. Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, yesterday showed heat maps of the country with 'more patches of green' than the week before, indicating a larger number of places have shrinking outbreaks.

But Boris Johnson once again stuck to his 'tiers' system today and dismissed the idea of a 'circuit breaker'— which is backed by Labour and has already been implemented in different forms in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales — saying: 'It would involve closing schools, it would involve shuttering businesses with all the psychological, emotional damage that lockdown of that kind brings.' 

LABOUR'S DEPUTY ACCUSED OF CALLING TORY MP 'SCUM' IN COMMONS

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner was today accused of calling a Tory MP 'scum' after he claimed members of the opposition frontbench view coronavirus as a 'good crisis'.

The clash between Ms Rayner and Conservative backbencher Chris Clarkson happened during an opposition day debate in the Commons this afternoon as MPs debated funding for areas facing additional coronavirus restrictions. 

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Clarkson suggested senior Labour figures viewed the current outbreak as an opportunity to be exploited.

Angela Rayner

Angela Rayner

Ms Rayner, who was sat on the frontbench, then appeared to heckle Mr Clarkson who asked her: 'Excuse me, did the honourable lady just call me scum?'

The exchange prompted an intervention from a furious Commons Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing who said she would not accept such comments in the chamber 'under any circumstances'.

Tory MPs immediately demanded an apology and called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to reprimand Ms Rayner over the alleged remark.

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More than seven million people will be in the top level of Boris Johnson's three-tier lockdown system by Sunday, with the new socialising bans being imposed on Greater Manchester and parts of Yorkshire. Around 43million people in Britain will be living under tougher restrictions come Sunday.

The move for Manchester was met by furious refusals from the region's mayor, Andy Burnham, who said it would shatter local businesses and demanded £90million in compensation, refusing to accept the stricter restrictions until Mr Johnson forced them into place in a televised briefing to the nation last night.

The Prime Minister moved to sideline Labour's Mr Burnham today after their vicious slanging match over Greater Manchester's lockdown. 

The PM insisted he would honour the £60million package of business support for the region he offered to the Labour mayor, even though it was angrily rejected with Mr Burnham accusing the government of dooming people to 'poverty'. But Mr Johnson said the money would now be 'distributed to the boroughs' instead of going through the mayor's office.

In a combative PMQs this afternoon, Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of a 'corrosive and miserly' approach sparking 'local battles'. The Labour leader said: 'Stop bargaining with people's lives, stop dividing communities and provide the support that's needed in Manchester.'

Professor Edmunds's comments come as: 

Boris Johnson said boroughs of Greater Manchester will still get £60million in compensation for being moved to Tier Three lockdown, even though the mayor, Andy Burnham, rejected the deal; MPs in Greater Manchester have called for the regional mayor Andy Burnham, a Labour politician, to resign after he did not co-operate with the Government on toughening social distancing restrictions in the area;  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has extended the country's circuit-breaker lockdown by a week to make it last until November 2 instead of October 26;  Death rates among hospital patients with Covid-19 are only around a quarter as high as they were during the first wave of the pandemic, according to studies from the UK and US; Amnesty International has warned the policy of discharging Covid-positive patients into care homes – which is making a comeback in the UK despite being credited for hundreds of deadly outbreaks – is a violation of human rights.

Professor John Edmunds, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, appeared in front of MPs on the Science and Technology Committee today

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night said Greater Manchester will be forced into a Tier Three lockdown from Friday night

Professor John Edmunds (left) told MPs on the Science and Technology Committee today that he would not use the three-tier local lockdown system being used by Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right)

'WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING': PUBS ARE BEING SACRIFICED TO SAVE SCHOOLS

Professor Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, said in the Science and Technology Committee today that it was a 'reasonable' decision for the Government to target the hospitality industry in lockdowns.

He said there is evidence that the virus spreads in pubs and restaurants, even if it was weak. Officials have to enforce social distancing somehow, he said, and there wasn't good enough evidence for them to pick anywhere other than the hospitality industry.

Professor Mark Woolhouse

Professor Mark Woolhouse

Professor Woolhouse told MPs: 'The problem is that a decision has to be made.

'We do have to, at the current time, reduce levels of transmission… Something's got to give. We're not reducing contacts through schools, which many people would agree with, and the hospitality industry is taking the brunt.

'I had a meeting with a representative of the Scottish hospitality industry the other day… she said 'well the evidence isn't crystal clear'. The evidence we've all seen is suggestive that hospitality is making a contribution but, more to the point, it's almost a race to the bottom.

'The evidence is stronger for hospitality than it is for many other non-home settings. It's very strong for homes and household transmission.

'You've got to do something and if it wasn't hospitality it'd be something else and the evidence for that would be of very similar quality to what we have for hospitality. 

'So, given that we have to do something, I think it's a reasonable decision by Government to go that route, although obviously I'm aware as everyone else is of the difficulties that causes the industry.' 

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'We are already at the point where the health service in much of the North will be under strain in the next few weeks,' Professor Edmunds said.

'Even if we stopped things now, cases and hospitalisations would continue to go up for the next 10 days [or] two weeks because they're already baked into the system. They've already been infected but it will take some time to be hospitalised – and the same goes for deaths.

'I think if you look where we are, there's no way we come out of this wave now without counting our deaths in the tens of thousands.

'If we don't take any additional measures, if we just leave it as it is, then we'll see peaks in the North West probably within the next four to six weeks and then the rest of the country are weeks behind. 

'So we'll see peaks around Christmas and the New Year of very severe numbers of cases throughout the UK. It's slower and lower in the South West and South East than in the more urban centres...

'That's the sort of thing we're looking at – very large numbers of cases, hundreds of deaths a day. I don't think it's going to reach the height of the epidemic in March and April – not quite – but in many parts it may already be quite similar'.

Department of Health data show that the second wave in Britain is continuing to grow, with 21,331 more positive tests announced yesterday, taking the daily average to 18,235.

The deaths of another 241 people were confirmed, a rise of more than two thirds (68.5 per cent) from the same day last week.  

The Office for National Statistics estimates that around 27,900 people are catching the virus every day in England, its highest prediction since they began in May.

All indicators – across positive cases, deaths and hospital admissions, are they highest they have been for at least four months. 

Professor Edmunds said that he fears the three-tier lockdown system – introduced this month by Boris Johnson instead of leaning towards national measures – will not squash the UK's second surge.

'I think we are not being as cautious as I would like us to be,' he said.

'I think it's pretty clear cases have been going up quite fast. What worries me a little bit is where the strategy leads to at the moment. 

'So the targeted strategy, the tiered strategy, if you think it through – where that leads to is a high level of incidence everywhere.

'Because let's say that tier three works, and keeps the reproduction number at about one – I don't think anybody really thinks it's going to reduce it to less than one, so let's assume it manages to get the reproduction number to about one. 

SCOTLAND EXTENDS CIRCUIT BREAKER LOCKDOWN BY A WEEK 

Nicola Sturgeon today announced pub and restaurant closures across the central belt of Scotland will be extended by a week to November 2 after the country recorded its highest number of coronavirus deaths since May.

The First Minister imposed the closure of hospitality venues in Covid-19 hotspots as well as a 6pm indoor hospitality curfew in other areas earlier this month.

The rules were originally due to last for two weeks and end on October 26 but Ms Sturgeon said today that the measures will have to be kept in place for longer.

She said extending the shutdown to November 2 would allow for a 'smooth' transition to a new tiered system of restrictions, scheduled to come into effect on the same date.

The original introduction of the measures prompted hospitality chiefs to warn of a 'death sentence' for hundreds of Scottish venues.

Ms Sturgeon made clear she believed the extension of the measures was necessary after Scotland recorded a further 28 Covid-19 deaths and an additional 1,739 cases - the highest number of fatalities since May 21.

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'That means that in Liverpool and Manchester and the North West now, [it] will keep the incidence at this high level, which is putting hospitals under strain and causing significant numbers of deaths, and we're going to keep it at that high level now for the foreseeable future. 

'And then a few weeks later the Midlands goes into tier three so we then keep the Midlands at a high level of incidence for the foreseeable future, and then London is shortly after. 

'So what means, by logical extension of this, is that we all end up at a high level of incidence where hospitals are really under stretch and we have large numbers of deaths. So that, for me, is the logical conclusion of this strategy that we're following – I would not follow that strategy.'  

He said that without putting the entire country into the toughest lockdown rules now, the country would be left to face hospitals under strain and large numbers of infections sweeping across the country.

The incidence of the virus – the number of people who are newly catching the virus – would be unlikely to go down during Tier Three lockdowns, he said, but also unlikely to go up.

He repeated his earlier calls for a circuit breaker lockdown which could turn back the clock on the outbreak all over the UK, which could then be followed by tighter rules to stop outbreaks getting out of control again. 

Professor Edmunds explained: 'If you put the [Tier Three] measures in place the incidence stays roughly the same so the measures are there... to hold the reproduction number, let's say, at about one.

'But if you go through a circuit breaker first then that would reduce the incidence for a few weeks and maybe, if you do a very stringent one, maybe you can halve the incidence. So instead of holding the incidence at this high level where hospitals are under strain you hold it at a lower level where they're not under such strain. That's one option.

'Or you move to Tier Three everywhere now and so places that haven't got to the point where hospitals are under strain, you keep them at that level now to stop them getting there.' 

Professor Edmunds's comments come as the Government is introducing sweeping new rules this week as it thrusts millions of people in the North of England into Tier Three.

BORIS SIDELINES ANDY BURNHAM OVER £60M LOCKDOWN BAILOUT 

Andy Burnham

A furious blame game erupted between Boris Johnson and Andy Burnham (pictured) after talks over a Tier Three lockdown bailout failed 

Boris Johnson moved to sideline Andy Burnham today after their vicious slanging match over Greater Manchester's lockdown.

The PM insisted he would honour the £60million package of business support for the region he offered to the Labour mayor, even though it was angrily rejected with Mr Burnham accusing the government of dooming people to 'poverty'.

But Mr Johnson said the money would now be 'distributed to the boroughs' instead of going through the mayor's office.

The premier also jibed that he had a 'great conversation' with Sheffield City mayor Dan Jarvis, who today agreed a deal for the region to be escalated to Tier Three from Saturday.

South Yorkshire has secured a £41million deal for contact tracing, enforcement and business support, and Mr Jarvis swiped at Mr Burnham by saying he had acted 'responsibly' in reaching an agreement.

Alongside a ban on households mixing indoors, pubs and bars will have to shut from midnight on Saturday, as well as betting shops, casinos and soft plays.

However, gyms and leisure centres can stay open - with Liverpool also getting their rules eased after a protest at double standards between regions. Talks with Tees valley and Tyneside have been 'paused' because data suggests measures to cut infection rate may be working.

West Yorkshire leaders say they have been told it will not be escalated into Tier Three this week - although government sources insist discussions are still ongoing.

The latest dramatic move means 7.3million people will be under the top level of restrictions by the weekend.

The sum granted to South Yorks is in roughly in line with that handed to Merseyside and Lancashire, adjusting for population size. 

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A row over compensation for councils and businesses in areas hit by the tougher restrictions erupted last week when Greater Manchester's mayor, Andy Burnham, refused to accept Tier Three in negotiations with the Government after Boris Johnson refused to bow to demands for £90million for the area.

The PM insisted he would honour the £60million package of business support for the region he offered to the Labour mayor, even though it was angrily rejected with Mr Burnham accusing the government of dooming people to 'poverty'.

But Mr

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