BORIS Johnson has been condemned for making “damaging” false claims about a “local lockdown” in an English town.

The Prime Minister has listed Weston-super-Mare as among the places that have successfully implemented stricter anti-coronavirus measures in response to a flare-up of infections.

However, local officials from the seaside town in Somerset have hit back, clarifying that lockdown measures have not been reimposed in the area.

Johnson named the town when he was asked this week about a fresh Covid-19 outbreak in Leicester. He said: “We are concerned about Leicester. We’re concerned about any local outbreak.

“We need to have local lockdowns and local whack-a-mole strategies where that’s necessary. It’s worked in places like Weston-super-Mare, or where we’ve had outbreaks in GP surgeries in London.

“And that’s the same approach as we’ll bring to bear in Leicester as well.”

READ MORE: Matt Hancock announces Covid-19 outbreak in wrong part of England

The Tory leader had made the same false claim at PMQs last week.

Sir Keir Starmer asked how local lockdowns will be carried out. Johnson said: "Everybody understands and we have seen across the country when there are outbreaks, for instance in Weston-super-Mare or in GP surgeries in North London, there have been local lockdowns and crackdowns."

Weston-super-Mare councillor Mike Bell said there was "by no stretch" any kind of local lockdown.

The Weston General Hospital in Somerset temporarily stopped accepting new patients, including to its accident and emergency department, due to a high number of coronavirus cases on May 25, but has now fully reopened.

The deputy leader of North Somerset Council blasted Johnson for his damaging claims.

He told Bristol Live: “It’s incredibly frustrating that the Prime Minister and government continue to spin this line that Weston-super-Mare went into ‘local lockdown’.

“Whilst I appreciate the need for the government to make it look like they’re in complete control of the battle against Covid-19, it really is not helpful and is indeed damaging to keep creating false impressions like this.

“The reality in Weston is that there was an outbreak based at the local hospital and the only action that was taken was to close the hospital to new patients and carry out an effective testing and tracing process Test and trace was, of course, something that should’ve been happening all along as is becoming increasingly apparent.”

READ MORE: Leicester goes back into lockdown after spike in Covid-19 cases​

He added: “We did not have a local lockdown, we were not advised to have a local lockdown, we were given no guidance as to what our local lockdown might look like in any event and had no powers offered to deliver it anyway.

“North Somerset Council, Weston Hospital and Public Health England dealt with our outbreak strongly and appropriately.

“It wasn’t a lockdown and the government needs to stop saying it was.”

The criticism for the Tory government comes after Matt Hancock mistakenly declared a Covid-19 outbreak in the wrong part of West Yorkshire, as well as mentioning Weston-super-Mare.

The Health Secretary said that outbreaks in Keighley, West Yorkshire, and Weston-super-Mare had been brought under control. But it is believed the secretary of state meant to reference another part of West Yorkshire, Kirklees – the local authority which covers the Cleckheaton meat processing factory where an outbreak of Covid-19 sparked 165 positive cases earlier this month.

Bradford Council, which covers Keighley, tweeted: "Just to calm everyone down a bit ... There's no new Covid-19 spike in Keighley.

"@MattHancock confused Keighley with a different area on TV and radio this morning. Please keep maintaining social distance & washing hands so we don't need to announce a local outbreak in the future."