PMQs: Keir Starmer ratchets up pressure on Boris Johnson to introduce 'circuit breaker' nationwide lockdown
- Credit: Parliamentlive.tv
Sir Keir Starmer has called on Boris Johnson to impose a nationwide "circuit breaker" lockdown after criticising the government's three-tiered system.
In a turbulent session of Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs), Sir Keir claimed the prime minister's latest lockdown approach was ineffective.
"Yesterday, the prime minister produced heat maps of the country showing infection rates going up in all ages across all regions, especially in those areas that have had Tier-2 restrictions for weeks if not months moving into Tier-3."
"Now, if they're moving into Tier-3 then Tier-2 hasn't worked because if Tier-2 worked then they should be going into Tier-1.
"So Tier-2 goes to Tier-3, Tier-3 has no end because there is no prospect, or confidence, of the R rate coming below 1."
He added: "We now have a stark choice... carry on with the prime minister's approach which will lead to weeks and week and months and months of prolonged agony in all constituencies for millions of people in Tier-2 and 3 with no exit, or put in place a two- to three-week circuit break to break the cycle and bring the virus back under control.
"With half-term this Thursday, this might be the last opportunity this prime minister has to put into place an effective circuit break.
- 1 Alastair Campbell warns Boris Johnson 'days away' from agreeing 'terrible' Brexit deal
- 2 Poll finds support for Brexit at an all-time low
- 3 David Davis made centre of Brexit jokes following Vodafone rant
- 4 James O'Brien confronts Vote Leave supporters who think Remainers want Brexit to fail
- 5 Brexit need not mean turning away from Europe
- 6 The 20 most influential figures in British politics
- 7 The Remainers who haven't been paying attention
- 8 Rishi Sunak fails to declare family's wealth in ministerial register, probe finds
- 9 Joe Biden could scrap US-UK travel corridor in favour of one with Ireland
- 10 Dominic Raab leads government calls for 'fresh thinking' from EU over Brexit
"Will he act in the public interest and take an opportunity to introduce a circuit break this Friday?"
Johnson shot back saying his government would do "whatever it takes" to get the virus under control "with or without" Labour's support.
He said: "I've explained why I don't believe his policy is the right one for the country because it would involve closing schools. It would involve shuttering businesses, with all the psychological and emotional damage that lockdown brings.
"We want to go on with our common sense approach which is a local and regional approach, keeping our kids in school, keeping our economy moving because that is how to get the whole of our country through this together."
Sir Keir broke ranks to criticise the government last week and called for a national lockdown to curb the rise in infections across the UK.
Speaking at a press conference, he said: "There’s no longer time to give this prime minister the benefit of the doubt.
“The government’s plan simply isn’t working. Another course is needed.
“That’s why I am calling for a two to three-week circuit break in England in line with Sage’s recommendation.”
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.