Oct 13, 2020
The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the government’s measures to tackle coronavirus are not working. He’s called for a short lockdown throughout England – or “circuit breaker” – as death rates rise sharply to the highest number since June.
Sir Keir said the measures imposed by Boris Johnson did not go far enough and the government was failing to listen to its own scientific advice.
Official documents reveal that scientific advisers called for a short lockdown some three weeks ago but their advice was rejected by ministers.
Documents released from a meeting of SAGE — the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies — said an immediate “circuit breaker”‘ was the best way to control cases — and slow the spread of the virus. They warned of a “catastrophic” situation with up to 3,000 deaths a day unless further measures were adopted.
Labour have mainly backed the government’s strategy up to now and their call for a new lockdown marks a significant change in that policy.
Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reporting by deputy political editor Vicki Young and medical editor Fergus Walsh.