Sir Keir Starmer has called on ministers to publish the UK’s exit strategy from the coronavirus lockdown, as he said the severe restrictions have “exacerbated existing inequalities” across the country.

The Labour leader’s intervention comes as the government prepares to sign off an extension to the severe restrictions on British public life at an emergency Cobra committee meeting on Thursday.

It is expected that senior cabinet ministers and officials will be briefed on findings from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) into the effectiveness social distancing measures in curbing the spread of covid-19.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

In a letter to the foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the Boris Johnson as he recovers from a coronavirus infection at his countryside residence Chequers, Sir Keir says Labour will support the government’s extension to the lockdown.

But, he added: “The question for Thursday therefore is no longer about whether the lockdown should be extended, but about what the government’s position is on how and when it can be eased in due course and on what criteria that decision will be taken.”

“Ministers have argued that now is not the time to talk about this. I profoundly disagree. Overcoming this crisis requires taking the British public with you. Millions of people have played their part and exceeded government assumptions about their willingness to make sacrifices and to stay at home in the national interest.

“In return, the government needs to be open and transparent with the public about how it believes the lockdown will ease and eventually end, how this decision will be informed and what measures are being put in place to plan for this eventuality.”

Sir Keir also warned the “silent pressures” on communities across the UK cannot be underestimated, and said “to maintain morale and hope” the public must be given a sense of what comes next.

“Many will be struggling with their mental health as well as other health conditions that may not receive the attention they normally would without the virus,” he added. “This lockdown is not affecting people equally. In fact, it has exacerbated existing inequalities in our country.

“A family living in an overcrowded flat will have particular challenges. And it is hard to imagine the daily horror of someone trapped in a home with his or her abuser. The government has a duty to do what it can to alleviate these pressures on people.”

A government source responded: “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.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Michigan tourism industry says this is “a year simply to survive”

CBS News is chronicling what has changed for the lives of residents across the nation in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Heidi Gesiakowski and her husband Joel opened Taste, a small plates and martini restaurant, in South Haven, a beach town…

Barr accuses media of ‘projecting a narrative’ in coverage of unrest: ‘People are being told a lie’

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr speaks to Fox News’ Mark Levin about how the media is portraying the protests in Portland, Oregon. Attorney General Bill Barr accused the media of pushing their own “narratives” instead of reporting facts on the…

Allegations probed as GMB union boss resigns

The GMB trade union has launched an investigation into allegations involving their departing General Secretary Tim Roache. A powerful union committee has formally accepted Mr Roache’s resignation. His decision to go was announced on Tuesday night and took many by…

DOMESTIC POLICYSingle voting day over in Russia

KALININGRAD, September 13. /TASS/. Voting on Russia’s single election day on Sunday is over, with polling stations in the westernmost Kaliningrad region being closed at 21:00 Moscow time. The single voting day is held in Russia on the second Sunday…