Boris Johnson told to 'have a word' with lockdown data sceptic Tory MPs

24 February 2021, 12:24 | Updated: 24 February 2021, 12:56

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Prime Minister should "have a word" with Conservative MPs doubting the accuracy of data behind his road map out of lockdown, according to Sir Keir Starmer.

The Labour leader said he backed the principles of the PM's plan and told the Commons: "One of the biggest threats to that is misinformation about the risks of the deadly virus.

"For example, there have been people saying that the Covid statistics appear to have been manipulated, that Monday's road map is based on dodgy assumptions and false modelling.

"Does the Prime Minister agree that these kinds of comments are irresponsible and undermine our national recovery?"

Boris Johnson said the road map will set the country on a "cautious but irreversible journey to freedom", adding the data supporting it has been made available to MPs.

Sir Keir countered: "I think the Prime Minister dodged that question, no doubt because all those comments came from his own MPs - some of the 60 or so members of the Covid Recovery Group. Perhaps the Prime Minister should have a word with them."

On Tuesday Tory MP Mark Harper told LBC's Nick Ferrari that delays to lifting coronavirus restrictions were due to the Government "understating" the performance of the vaccine, based on models it had looked at.

He added: "The Government seems to have looked at some models with dodgy assumptions and have effectively delayed opening the country by two months."