Starmer says it’s time for PM to be ‘honest’ about his coronavirus mistakes

PUBLISHED: 15:20 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:20 17 July 2020

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer arrives to meet with care workers and the families of care home residents during a visit to Cafe 1899 in Gedling Country Park, Nottinghamshire. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer arrives to meet with care workers and the families of care home residents during a visit to Cafe 1899 in Gedling Country Park, Nottinghamshire. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said it is time for Boris Johnson to ‘be honest’ about his mistakes during the coronavirus mistakes.

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Asked if he thought the government’s roadmap out of lockdown is credible, Sir Keir said the Labour Party will be “looking into the details” before commenting.

“This can’t be done on a wing and a prayer, it requires a credible plan, and national leadership,” he said.

“It’s very important that the public know that the government’s expert advisers support the measures, so we do need to hear that, to ensure that there’s confidence.”

Sir Keir added that track, trace and isolate, and local lockdowns would be “crucial measures” to ensure a return to normality is done safely.


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He said: “Mayors across the country, local authority leaders across the country are saying what we need is the data so we know precisely what’s going on on a day-to-day basis, on a street-by-street basis, and we need the power to take action rapidly.”

The latest easing includes scrapping work-from-home guidance, encouraging people to use public transport for non-essential journeys, and reopening theatres from August 1.

Starmer also criticised the prime minister for missing social care funding out of his investment plan for the next stage of lockdown.

The government also announced an extra £3 billion in funding for the NHS to prepare for a possible second wave of the virus.

“What I didn’t hear from the prime minister this morning was any extra funding for social care.

“And what we can’t afford to do again is leave social care out of the priorities as we move into the autumn and winter.

“So where was the money for social care?”

He also condemned Johnson’s criticism of care home workers’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The prime minister was completely wrong to try and shift the blame to others, particularly in the care sector who, on the front line, have been doing everything they can in difficult circumstances.”

He added: “Let’s be honest about mistakes, let’s set out what they were and make sure they’re not repeated.”

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