Boris Johnson congratulates Keir Starmer and invites him to coronavirus meeting

Boris Johnson making the announcement that he has tested positive for coronavirus. Photograph: @10Do

Boris Johnson making the announcement that he has tested positive for coronavirus. Photograph: @10DowningStreet/PA Wire . - Credit: PA

Prime minister Boris Johnson has congratulated the new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer on his election victory and invited him to a briefing on Covid-19 next week.

Shortly before the result was announced, Johnson wrote to opposition party leaders inviting them to a briefing and insisting 'we have a duty to work together at this moment of national emergency'.

The prime minister later congratulated Sir Keir in a call on Saturday afternoon and the pair agreed to meet next week to discuss the coronavirus crisis.

In a tweet, Johnson said: 'I have just spoken to @Keir_Starmer and congratulated him on becoming Labour leader.

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'We agreed on the importance of all party leaders continuing to work constructively together through this national emergency.

'I have invited him and other opposition leaders to a briefing next week.'

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In his victory speech, posted online, Sir Keir said Labour had a 'shared purpose' with the Government in getting the country through the Covid-19 outbreak.

He added: 'Under my leadership, we will engage constructively with the government, not opposition for opposition's sake.

'Not scoring party political points or making impossible demands.

'But with the courage to support where that's the right thing to do.

'But we will test the arguments that are put forward.

'We will shine a torch on critical issues and where we see mistakes or faltering government or things not happening as quickly as they should we'll challenge that and call that out.

'Our purpose when we do that is the same as the government's, to save lives and to protect our country, a shared purpose.'

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