Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, speaking ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday, said:
“Labour supported the lockdown and has always argued that restrictions need to be eased gradually and in a safe way.
“The Government’s actions over the past ten days have made difficult decisions more risky. First, ministers have not yet got a fully functioning test, track and trace system in place; and second, the Government’s public health message has been undermined because the Prime Minister was too weak to take firm action against Dominic Cummings for breaking lockdown.
“Ministers need to accept that mistakes have been made and do everything they now can to reduce the risks to public health. That should include three things.
“First, a reiteration of the Government’s commitment to follow the science and take immediate action if scientists start raising the alarm. Second, ensure flexibility to allow restrictions to be rapidly reintroduced, both nationally and locally, if we see an increase in the r-rate. And third, a redoubling of efforts to ensure we have a fully functioning and effective test, track and trace system in place as soon as possible.
“This is going to be a critical week for the country and a key test of the Government’s strategy. I would urge everyone to do their bit in the national interest by following the public health advice and helping to save lives.”