Boris Johnson has been told to “keep up” with the latest lockdown announcements after he appeared to lose track during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs).
Defending his three-tiered lockdown approach, the prime minister said: “The disease is appearing much more strongly in parts of the country than in others.
“In Liverpool, for instance, alas, the figures are now running at 670 cases per 100,000 compared with 33 cases per 100,000 in Cornwall.
“That is why the three-tiered approach we set out on Monday, which he [Sir Keir] supported was the right way.”
Attacking Labour mayors for opposing the strategy, Johnson asked Sir Keir: “Will he get on to his Labour friends in those parts in the North of England where we want to work with them to put very stringent measures in place?”
Sir Keir replied: “I think the prime minister is behind the curve again.
“He probably hasn’t noticed that this morning, the council leaders in Greater Manchester that he just quoted, including the mayor and including the Conservative leader of Bolton council have said in a press statement that they support a circuit breaker above tier three restrictions.
“Keep up, prime minister!”
He continued: “The big problem the prime minister has, and it is from the Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) minutes that make it absolutely clear that his two main policies – track and trace and local restrictions – simply haven’t worked. And we can’t stand by.”
On the failures of Test and Trace, Sir Keir added: “So after £12 billion lets have a straight answer – why does the prime minister think that his track and trace system has gone so wrong?”
The prime minister replied: “It is thanks to NHS Test and Trace, that is now testing more people than any other country in Europe, that we know where the disease is surging – and we know that it is regionally distributed rather than nationally distributed at the moment – and that gives us a chance now to do the right thing.”