Sir Keir suggests he supports vaccine passports for mass events but 'not for everyday use'

26 July 2021, 10:51 | Updated: 26 July 2021, 20:49

Sir Keir Starmer on vaccine passports

By Sophie Barnett

Sir Keir Starmer has told LBC he supports vaccine passports for large-scale events but says they should not be used on an "everyday basis".

The Labour leader said he wants to be "pragmatic" about the use of Covid vaccine passports in England but wants to make sure all sectors are opened up as quickly as possible.

Sir Keir told Nick Ferrari during Call Keir: "I think that passports on their own aren't enough because as we know, sadly you can be double jabbed and still get the new variant."

Sir Keir made the remarks to Nick Ferrari on Call Keir on LBC this morning
Sir Keir made the remarks to Nick Ferrari on Call Keir on LBC this morning. Picture: LBC

Asked whether he would support the Government in a vote, he said Labour would "look carefully" at proposals and added: "What I don't want to see, just to be very clear about this, is I don't want to see vaccine passports used on an everyday basis for access to critical things like health, dentistry, food, etc.

"So, for sporting events, I'll look at what the Government puts on the table. I want to be pragmatic because we all want all business sectors and sporting sectors to return as quickly as possible. But not for everyday use.

"I think tests are actually more useful than double vaccinations, as the Health Secretary has shown. He, of course, got Covid just about 10 days ago now, I know he's through it now, but he had been double vaccinated. So, I actually think tests are much more useful.

"I think that the idea that we can go back to mass sporting events or other events without any checks is not one I would subscribe to."

Sir Keir's comments come after Boris Johnson faced backlash over his plans to make coronavirus vaccination compulsory for nightclubs and other crowded venues from the autumn.

Mr Johnson made the announcement last Monday on the so-called "Freedom Day" - the day that clubs in England were allowed to open for the first time since March last year.

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said during the Downing Street press conference clubs had the potential to cause "super spreading events".

The move has been described as an “absolute shambles” by Michael Kill, the chief executive of Night Time Industries Association, who said "'freedom day' for nightclubs lasted around 17 hours".