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Sir Keir Starmer: 21 June target missed because of 'pathetic' border policies

14 June 2021, 10:15 | Updated: 14 June 2021, 22:49

Delay to Freedom Day due to Government's "pathetic" border policy

By Kate Buck

Sir Keir Starmer has blamed the Government's "pathetic" border policies as being the reason for a delay to the lifting of lockdown in England on June 21.

Speaking during his monthly Call Keir with Nick Ferrari, the Labour leader said: "June 21st was supposed to be freedom day and why are we not going to hit it, and it looks like we're not?

"Answer: It's because of the Government's pathetic borders policy. Absolutely pathetic."

Boris Johnson confirmed this evening that the lockdown easing cannot go ahead as planned on June 21 due to the spread of the Delta Covid variant.

Explained: What is the next stage of lockdown easing?

Read more: Govt to remain 'cautious and careful' in lifting lockdown restrictions, Raab tells LBC

Sir Keir added: "The inexplicable delay from the 9th to the 23rd April from putting India onto the red list with lots of people coming in and then on top of that mixing at Heathrow.

"Pathetic.

"That is why we are here, the Delta variant has got in because of the Government's pathetic control of the borders.

Nick Ferrari grills a minister over a g7 BBQ

"Why on Earth did they delay in relation to India on the red list and why on earth the ridiculous Amber decision?"

Sir Keir also criticised the Government's traffic light system for international travel, which sees green countries granted quarantine-free travel, and those returning from red countries being forced to remain in a Government hotel for 10 days after arrival.

Read more: Lockdown easing - What time is Boris Johnson's announcement today?

"They didn't introduce hotel quarantine until February of this year and then only 1%.

"Then we went through this ridiculous red amber green where loads of countries were moved to the amber list.

"At the beginning of that it seemed like we could go on holiday, then it was no, no, no it doesn't, it's only if it's absolutely essential.

"Then you have someone popping up from Government saying they think holidays are essential, no one knows where they stand on that."

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