Labor leader Keir Starmer warns today that plans to lift almost everyone Covid-19 bans on June 21 threatened by a series of incompetence and “civil war” within Boris Johnson’s government.
In his strongest attack in months under the prime minister’s pandemic administration, Starmer said the many died in the second wave of cases from last fall, in which more than 80,000 lives were lost, “inevitable and unforgivable” and the result of a failure to learn lessons from the early stages of the crisis.
Writing to observers after a week where the former adviser to the PM, Dominic Cummings, said Johnson was unfit to lead the country and delayed lockdowns with fatal results last year, Starmer argued that the inability to repair support systems for tracking and self-monitoring, and lack of adequate border control to prevent the spread of racism in India. , all given serious, unsolicited personal leadership failures.
As scientists now warn about the dangers of easing too early lock-in, Starmer said the level of incompetence and conflict within the government has raised doubts about whether the release of the “big bang” will happen. at lockdown on 21 June.
“In the first wave we were facing an unprecedented crisis. Decision-making was undoubtedly difficult. Mistakes were inevitable. And the British public understands that,” he wrote. “But in the summer, we learned a lot about the virus. The prime minister was warned to prepare for the second wave. He didn’t do it. And more than twice as many people died in the second. wave than before.That was avoided and unforgivable.
“The failure to heal tracking tracking and support self -separation? Avoid. The weak border policy where also imports the virus? Avoid. Lockdown delays – not once, not twice, but three times? Avoid.
“That’s a failure of leadership. A failure to take the difficult decisions necessary to protect the people. That failure is up to the prime minister. It goes to the heart of his character and health for office. While the second wave is growing, his refusal to seek advice or acknowledge past mistakes has disastrous consequences. ”
Video: Boris Johnson is a ‘thousand times over -concern’ in the media, as Cummings (Wales Online)
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He added: “We all want to open on June 21 but the single biggest threat to that is government incompetence. With various cases doubling a week and scientists raising the. concerns, Johnson and his ministers must be relentlessly focused on reducing infections. However, they are once again distracted by melodrama, civil war and cover their own backs. “
On Friday, Britain recorded more than 4,000 cases of coronavirus for the first time since the end of March, as the weekly increase rose to 24%. Nearly three-fourths of the new cases are different from the first seen in India.
Ministers are now examining options for more limited openings as well as they await more data and try to speed up the vaccination program.
Professor Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University said: “Clearly we are at the foot of the rise in cases. The question is how high is the slope and how high is its length? That is, will it threaten the NHS? We don’t know yet but we should know the answer in a week or so. ”
Professor Adam Finn of Bristol University said that if by the end of next week there are 6,000 Covid cases and a week later there are 12,000, then the alarm bells will start ringing. “We need to think twice about lifting bans because it’s clear that we’re behind a very fast rising wave of infections,” Finn said.
However, scientists say Britain’s successful vaccination program could prevent the rapidly growing number of cases that have translated into multiple hospitalizations. “The vaccine went really well,” Woolhouse added. “However, it’s important now that we get better.”
Finn added: “June 21 is only three weeks away, and if we see hospitalizations starting we should think as soon as possible-or face another lockdown this summer.”
An Opinium poll for observers found that 43% of people now support the postponement of the 21 June lockdown easing, which many Tory MPs are desperate to continue. This compares with 34% who think the mitigation should continue as planned. One in 10 returns brought the date forward.
Overall, two-thirds (66%) of the public believe the government has acted slowly in response to Covid, compared with 28% who think it has acted sufficiently. Opinion differs at different stages of the crisis. Some 69% think ministers did not act quickly on the first lockdown in March, 62% believe they were slower on the second lockdown in the fall, while 67% think actions were too slow around Christmas.
Despite concerns about the June opening, government support is still overwhelming vaccination program management, with 71% of the public still approving the supply and distribution of the vaccine, compared to only 9% who disagree.
After Cummings gave the evidence to MPs last week, the Conservative -led Labor fell six points from 13 a week earlier, according to Opinium. Conservatives are up 42% (down two points) while Labor is up five to 36%.