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Sir Keir Starmer launched an attack on the Government during Prime Minsiter’s Questions over its “grubby” lockdown deals with local authorities that are “corroding” public trust. The Opposition leader urged Boris Johnson to take a “one-nation approach” by supporting Labour’s House of Commons motion that demands “a fair deal” for communities facing Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions. However, the Prime Minister branded Mr Starmer’s own coronavirus circuit break plans the “height of absurdity”, warning that the damage could be more than necessary.
Mr Johnson told MPs: “I’m proud of the one-nation Conservative support that we’ve given to the entire country.
“£200billion in support for jobs and livelihoods across the whole of the country already.
“A further £9.9billion now for the job support scheme. It is this Government that has cut VAT for business, deferred business rates.
“There is no other country in Europe where so much support, so much help, has been given to the population to get through this crisis, and we will continue to do that.”
He continued: “I think it is the height of absurdity that he stands up and attacks the economic consequences of the measures that we’re obliged to take across some parts of the country when he wants to turn the lights out with a full national lockdown.
“That was his policy last week, wasn’t it? Perhaps he could confirm that’s still his policy. Is that what he wants to do?”
Sir Keir warned that the Government’s tiered system approach will lead to “weeks and weeks of agony” for Britons across the country.
He urged the Prime Minister once again to place the UK into a circuit break lockdown in order to bring the coronavirus “back under the control”.
Mr Johnson shot back: “We will do whatever it takes to get this country through the crisis, with or without the support of the gentleman opposite.
“I’ve explained why I don’t believe his policy is the right one for the country because it would involve shuttering businesses and schools.
“He can’t say how many circuit breakers he thinks would be necessary, he can’t say how long they would go on, he can’t say how much damage they would do.”
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More to follow…
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