Sir Keir Starmer will make a televised address to the nation following Boris Johnson’s coronavirus announcement.
The Labour leader will get a “right of reply” on Wednesday evening to the prime minister’s address in which he warned tougher restrictions could be imposed if the rate does not fall.
Starmer is expected to appear on the BBC at 8pm, with others likely to take the broadcast too.
A Labour source said: “He will support what the government’s announced but also state that another national lockdown isn’t inevitable and what we need to do is follow the rule of law and fix issues such as testing.”
Labour has made a concerted effort recently to boost its profile on the airwaves, with senior figures taking up radio slots and Sir Keir planning monthly press conferences.