PMQs: ‘The PM can’t just bat away challenge’, says Keir Starmer

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Sir Keir Starmer has accused Boris Johnson of failing to address criticism of the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in Leicester.

During PMQ’s, the Labour leader claimed there was an 11-day delay between Health Secretary Matt Hancock declaring a flare up in the area and the implementation of a local lockdown.

He challenged Boris Johnson: “Why was the government so slow to act?”

The Prime Minister said the government had “acted decisively” and “put on the breaks” when required.

He said: “We engaged actively with the authorities in Leicester, with public health in Leicester, with everyone responsible in Leicester, in the way we have done with other areas that have had similar issues.

“Unfortunately in Leicester, it did not prove possible to get the results that we have seen elsewhere so on Monday we took the decision, which I hope the right honourable gentleman approves of, to go into lockdown in Leicester.”

When Mr Johnson denied that the government was late in providing local authorities with the full set of testing figures, Sir Keir said he had spoken to the Mayor of Leicester, who was “absolutely clear” that the data did not arrive until last Thursday.

The Opposition leader concluded: “The Prime Minister can’t just bat away challenge, these are matters of life and death and of people’s livelihoods.”

Read more

PMQs: Keir Starmer berates Boris Johnson over contact tracing app

Nadhim Zahawi defends Black Lives Matter slogan in Premier League

talkRADIO: Listen live for the latest updates of Covid-19