Sir Keir Starmer: The government must tell UK about how they will end lockdown

15 April 2020, 08:35

By Adrian Sherling

The new Labour leader has told LBC his party will support the Government extending the lockdown - but told ministers they must set out their exit strategy.

Sir Keir Starmer says Labour will support the government in the battle against coronavirus and will not resort to "political point-scoring".

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, the new leader said his party would challenge the government only to push them to get the response to the Covid-19 pandemic correct.

He said: "It's obvious and right that the lockdown is going to continue and the government will announce that tomorrow.

"I said, when I became leader of the Labour Party, we would be a constructive Opposition. Where we think the Government is right we will have the courage to say so and support them."

"I've written to Dominic Raab to say that if that is what they do tomorrow, they will have our full support.

Nick Ferrari spoke to new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
Nick Ferrari spoke to new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: LBC

"But I've also said that now we need to see the government's exit strategy. Firstly because we need to retain the trust of the public and the only way to do that is transparency and openness that they know where this is heading.

"And secondly, planning. Mass testing and tracing are almost certain be part of any exit strategy. If that is to happen, then planning needs to take place now. What we don't want to do is to get a few weeks or months down the line, have a strategy to be announced then that can't be implemented."

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A Government source said: "Our strategy is focused on saving lives.

"We have been clear that all decisions will be guided by the scientific advice and data.

"Talk of an exit strategy before we have reached the peak risks confusing the critical message that people need to stay at home in order to protect our NHS and save lives."