Councillor claims Covid-19 is ‘fake’ and compares lockdown life to North Korea

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A councillor who claimed coronavirus is a "fake virus" has compared life in lockdown to "living in North Korea".

Irene Hewitson, 63, an independent member of Great Aycliffe Town Council, made the shocking claim during an anti-lockdown rally in Durham city centre last week as she said people will have no jobs and social life if the lockdown continues.

She even boldly suggested the pandemic would be over "if people turned their TVs off and just took their masks off".

In an interview with Chronicle Live, she said: "We're being locked down over a fake virus. I don't believe the virus exists.

"When my neighbours, relatives, friends and work people are dying around me then I'll believe it's true."

The Byerley Park, Horndale and Cobblers Hall councillor said she has a friend working in the Nightingale Hospital and was told that they have never had one patient.

"They've been cleaning a hospital for six months," she added. "It's absolutely disgusting.

"My granddaughter goes dancing, she goes skating – all the things she enjoys is going ahead – and yet Boris can still go hunting and shooting, it's absolutely disgusting."

Councillor Hewitson believed she is "building up an immunity" as she claimed she has never worn a face mask or used hand sanitiser.

She then said: "People need to wake up fast because before long we're going to have no jobs, no social life, no life at all.

"It's going to be like living in North Korea."

A spokesperson for Great Aycliffe Town Council said no action will be taken over Cllr Hewitson but said they strongly disagreed with her.

They said: "Councillor Irene Hewitson expressed her own personal view but it is not the view of the town council."

Durham city has been identified as a coronavirus hotspot in the UK after recording 616 new cases in the week ending October 16.

Meanwhile, 1,725 students and 20 members of staff at Durham University have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of term.

  • Lockdown

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