Starmer blast for ‘head in the sand’ Johnson
STINGING Sir Keir says PM is weak
LABOUR leader Keir Starmer has accused Boris Johnson of “burying his head in the sand” over the mounting Covid crisis.
He says the PM failed to order a lockdown when it was needed and asked: “Where has Boris been?”
His stinging comments to the Sunday Mirror follow Mr Johnson’s announcement of a second national lockdown a month after scientists demanded one.
The delay is expected to cost thousands of lives which might otherwise have been saved.
At least 20,000 people are estimated to have died because the last lockdown in March was delayed by just a week.
Sir Keir – who backed the call for a two-week “circuit-breaker” to break the spread of the virus – claims the PM “buried his head in the sand. He was not strong enough to stand up against his own party”.
Tory MPs have resisted calls for tougher restrictions, claiming they are unnecessary.
Sir Keir’s attack comes as members of the Independent Sage group of scientists – which shadows the Government’s official advisers – warned a new lockdown might only just be in time to save Christmas.
Group member Christina Pagel said: “Covid is moving faster than the political decision-making.”
Sir Keir said the scale of the crisis was the result of a “wasted summer” and the responsibility of “a Prime Minister unable to lead”.
He called for a clear strategy “because it is the British people who will pay the price of his failures”. Sir Keir also called for “a line to be drawn” to prevent a Labour internal war over his suspension of Jeremy Corbyn.
In a message to Mr Corbyn, who claimed an Equality and Human Rights Commission report on party anti-Semitism was exaggerated, Sir Keir said: “We must all accept where Labour got it wrong.”
His message came amid anger among Corbyn allies. A senior member said: “Both sides need a way out of this without losing face.
“Keir needs to be careful he doesn’t create a new raft of independent Labour MPs.”