PMQs: Starmer demands action on ‘haunting’ coronavirus death toll as Johnson says international comparisons must wait
- Credit: Archant
Boris Johnson has been challenged to explain why the UK has one of the highest death tolls from the coronavirus globally with the Labour leader calling it 'haunting' in the latest round of Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs).
In the second round of PMQs since parliament reintroduced social distancing measures, Sir Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson went head-to-head over the rising number of coronavirus deaths.
Sir Keir asked the prime minister: 'Mr Speaker, I want to turn to the overall numbers of those who have tragically died fro Covid-19 because those overall numbers haunt us.
You may also want to watch:
'Since last PMQs, the government's daily total figures of those who have died from coronavirus has gone past 40,000. The ONS [Office for National Statistics] figures, which records cases where coronavirus is on the death certificate, stands at just over 50,000 and the number of excess deaths, which is an awful phrase, stands at over 63,000.
- 1 The Prime Minister is out of his league
- 2 The cannabis conundrum
- 3 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 4 Why Germany's Greens failed to rise on floods
- 5 Party politics will not save us from the Tories - we need drastic action
- 6 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 7 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 8 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
- 9 Would Javid have renamed ICU wards 'Drama Queen Zones'?
- 10 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
'These are amongst the highest numbers in the world. Last week, the prime minister said he was proud of the government's record but there's no pride in those figures, is there?'
Johnson rebutted saying his government took each death seriously but urged caution when analysing the death rate.
'We must wait until the epidemic has been through its whole cycle in order to draw the relevant international comparisons,' he said.
Johnson went on to praise the 'astonishing' efforts made to build NHS Nightingale and the obedience of social distancing rules.
'We have a plan, we're following it and we're going to stick to it,' he added.
Displeased with Johnson's reply, the Labour leader remarked: 'It just doesn't wash to say that we can't compare those figures to other countries. Everyone can see those figures and see the disparity and we need to learn from those other countries... we could have learnt lessons.
'There is little solace to the families that have lost someone to be told this is too early to compare and to learn from other countries.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.