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Sir Keir Starmer has been warned to “read the room” after demanding that the UK be plunged into a so-called circuit break lockdown. The Labour Party leader had made the call during a live address to the country in response to the Prime Minister’s latest coronavirus announcements. Shadow Chancellor to the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves, tried to defend Sir Keir from Sky News host Kay Burley’s assessment of his success.
Ms Burley told the MP: “It does look though on the surface of it as though your leader’s been wrong-footed on this one.
“Normally he isn’t, normally he’s a consummate politician.
“He tends to be able to read the room, he’s not on this one.”
Ms Reeves insisted that a circuit break would have the support of the people and the scientists.
However, the Sky presenter pointed out that it wouldn’t have the support of the Prime Minister, who is the one who makes the decisions.
The Labour MP shot back: “If the Prime Minister wants to take us in that direction, he’s taking us down the wrong path as a country.
“I’m afraid we’re going to see over the next few days rising levels of infections, of hospital admissions and, sadly, of deaths.
“If they’d have taken those measures three weeks ago when SAGE advised it, we wouldn’t be seeing the number of hospital admissions and deaths today.”
She added: “It’s not too late for the Government to change course.
“They’re now taking us down the wrong path, they can change path.
“Keir Starmer’s given them that opportunity and we would support that in the House of Commons.”
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The UK Government’s scientific advisers reportedly called for tougher restrictions three weeks ago in a bid to beat the coronavirus.
At the time, new infections were around 6,000 per day while now the average number of new cases per day is running at 14,500.
During his address, the Labour leader said: “The Government’s plan simply isn’t working and another course is needed.
“That is why I am calling for a two-three week circuit break in England, in line with SAGE’s recommendation.
“This would be a temporary set of clear and effective restrictions designed to get the R-rate down and reverse the trend of infections and hospital admissions.”
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