Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tests positive for Covid-19 again

5 January 2022, 09:51 | Updated: 5 January 2022, 10:21

SIr Keir Starmer has tested positive for Covid-19
SIr Keir Starmer has tested positive for Covid-19. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has tested positive for coronavirus and Angela Rayner will deputise for him at Prime Minister's Questions, a party spokesman said.

Sir Keir Starmer previously tested positive in October last year and was unable to take part in prime minister’s questions and was not be able to respond to chancellor Rishi Sunak's budget. Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband stood in for him.

He has previously had to isolate five times during the pandemic. In July he had to isolate when one of his children tested positive.

Sir Keir is not thought to have any Covid-19 symptoms but the infection was picked up as part of his regular testing routine.

Boris Johnson will face Angela Rayner at a later than usual PMQs today at 3pm.

Read more: Pre-departure Covid tests for travellers returning to UK set to be scrapped

Sir Keir issued a video last night calling for the government to do more to stop Covid-19 spreading in schools. He posted on Twitter: "The Government must go further to stop Covid spreading throughout schools. This means: More vaccination. More ventilation. Mass testing at schools."

Labour believes ministers haven't done enough to protect students and staff from coronavirus as they return to classrooms.

Sir Keir delivered a keynote speech in Birmingham yesterday where he promised "straight leadership" based on the values of "security, prosperity and respect" if his party is returned to power.

He said the UK remains a "great place to live", and that it is not unpatriotic to point out that the country has flaws.

"On the contrary, the reason we in this party want to correct those flaws is precisely because we are patriotic," he said.

"I came into politics to make things happen, not just to talk about them. I don't think politics is a branch of the entertainment industry. I think it's the serious business of getting things done.

"But I'm afraid at the moment we are going backwards. We have a Prime Minister who thinks the rules apply to anyone but him.

"Just when trust in Government has become a matter of life and death, for the Prime Minister it has become a matter of what he can get away with.

"I have heard so many heartbreaking stories of people who missed family funerals because they were abiding by the rules. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was at a cheese and wine party in Downing Street."