Sir Keir Starmer calls for national lockdown within 24 hours
Sir Keir Starmer has called for a national lockdown in England within 24 hours and warned the virus is “out of control”.
The Labour leader urged Boris Johnson to bring in new coronavirus restrictions and accused him of kicking the can down the road instead of making a decision.
In a call for action as numbers soar across the UK, he said: “The virus is clearly out of control.
“And there’s no good the Prime Minister hinting that further restrictions are coming into place in a week, or two or three.
“That delay has been the source of so many problems.
“So, I say bring in those restrictions now, national restrictions, within the next 24 hours.
“That has to be the first step towards controlling the virus.
“Let’s not have the Prime Minister saying ‘I’m going to do it, but not yet’, that’s the problem he has made so many times.
“Nationwide lockdown – the Prime Minister has hinted that that’s going to happen but he’s delaying again. And we can’t afford that again.”
The Labour leader also weighed into the debate on reopening schools, but refused to go as far as some unions in demanding they shut.
He said: “It is inevitable more schools are going to have to close.
“And the Government needs a plan on children’s learning but also for working parents.
“Everybody wants children back in school. There is nobody that would argue with that. Of course that’s what we all want.
“I don’t want to call for the closure of schools tomorrow morning and add to the chaos, but we do need to recognise that it is inevitable that more schools will close, and we need a plan in place to deal with it.
“But it can only be part of a wider strategy that has a national lockdown in place in the next 24 hours."
Sir Keir's call for actions come as another 54,990 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK, making it the sixth day in a row that new daily cases have exceeded 50,000.
Government figures also show a further 454 people have died with coronavirus, taking the total number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive test in Britain to 75,024.
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