Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that “we all have to accept mistakes have been made” in responding to the Coronavirus and has claimed the Government was “too slow to enter the lockdown.”
Writing in the Mail on Sunday two weeks after becoming the leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir said he had a duty to call out the Government when he believes mistakes are being made, but said that the purpose of this was “not to score party political points but to ensure mistakes are rectified and progress is speeded up.”
Sir Keir has previously talked of his support for the government implementing lockdown measures in the UK amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and also his support for the extension of them this week for at least another three weeks. However, writing in the Mail on Sunday, the Labour leader said the government’s response had been too slow and that we “need to make sure these mistakes are not repeated.” Sir Keir wrote;
“I fully accept that any government would find this situation challenging. But the Government was too slow to enter the lockdown. It has been too slow to increase the number of people being tested. It has been too slow in getting NHS staff the critical equipment they need to keep them safe.”
The Labour leader also called for ministers to publish ‘daily figures’ setting out the number of deaths in care homes and a ‘clear plan for what comes next’. Furthermore, Starmer called for more testing, saying ‘many of us will be asking why on earth was this not done sooner?’
Starmer also called for a new settlement for social care, saying we should not neglect social care after the pandemic
The article by Sir Keir came after latest figures confirmed that 15,464 people have died in UK hospitals after contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus and as an article in the Sunday Times claimed the UK government missed multiple opportunities to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.