Keir Starmer self-isolating after his child tests positive for Covid

21 July 2021, 14:45 | Updated: 21 July 2021, 15:12

Keir Starmer has gone into self-isolation
Keir Starmer has gone into self-isolation. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is isolating after one of his children tested positive for Covid.

The MP, who was in the House of Commons for Prime Minister's Questions at midday on Saturday, is the latest major UK political figure to go into quarantine, with Boris Johnson also isolating.

A spokesman said: "One of Keir's children tested positive for Covid this lunchtime. In line with the rules, Keir and his family will now be self-isolating.

"Keir was already doing daily tests and tested negative this morning. He will continue to take daily tests."

With Mr Johnson quarantining in Chequers, both leaders of the UK's main parties will need to stay at home.

Read more: PM admits he 'briefly' considered not self-isolating but now will until 26 July

Read more: 'Pingdemic': One in three Brits either abusing or deleting NHS Covid app - survey

It comes amid ongoing fears about how many people will need to self-isolate as cases rise, and it becomes more likely for somebody to encounter a Covid case, now most of England's Covid laws are gone.

The number of alerts sent out by the NHS app has been dubbed a "pingdemic".

Starmer: We're heading for a summer of chaos

Firms have spoken about their worries that they will lose staff - and maybe close if too many isolate - and the Government has urged people to keep using the NHS app instead of deleting it or switching it off.

Downing Street swiftly U-turned on Sunday, when it was initially announced that Mr Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak could dodge isolating by taking daily Covid tests as part of a scheme.

Read more: Some double-jabbed NHS staff can avoid self-isolating even if pinged by app

Anger at that announcement - with Labour accusing it of looking like "one rule for them, another for the rest of us" - was quickly reversed and both are isolating after becoming close contacts of Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive.

The PM admitted he had considered avoiding self-isolation "briefly" but accepted he should quarantine. He is isolating at Chequers, the Prime Minister's country retreat in rural Buckinghamshire.

We must all stick to the same rules, says Boris Johnson

"I think it is far more important that everyone sticks to the same rules and that is why I am going to be self-isolating until Monday 26 July," he said in a Twitter video.

On Sunday, Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth told LBC: "Think about employers struggling, because they have had staff off isolating.

"Or indeed the NHS, who are struggling because they have got some of their frontline staff off isolating.

"I just thought 'God, this just looks like one rule for them and another for the rest of us'. It really beggars belief. Now they have U-turned on it, because they have obviously seen the outcry and upset across the country and understandably so."

The NHS will allow double-vaccinated staff to stay at work if there are staff shortages, the Government announced on Monday.