LABOUR Party leader Sir Keir Starmer volunteered yesterday to ‘work with the Prime Minister in the national interest.’
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: ‘I would work with the Prime Minister in the national interest to try to get the infection rate down.’
Starmer went on: ‘I think unless the infection rate is below 1 the problem is that the infection rate just keeps going up and the admissions go up and we get back into the same cycle.
‘The best way to get below 1 is to have test, trace and isolate working properly.
‘We pleaded with the government for months to put this in the hands of local authorities, local directors of public health because they say we can do a better job than the government’s system.
‘There will be no effective exit on 2nd December unless the government uses this time to fix test, trace and isolate.
‘I think we need to stay in the lockdown until the infection rate is below 1.’
He also said: ‘Schools must stay open. It’s really important. The harm that children are caused by not going to school is really huge. So they must stay open.’
Then, speaking about the move to expel former leader Jeremy Corbyn, Starmer said: ‘There is now a process. The General Secretary triggered that on Thursday so there will have to be a process that is now gone through. It’s very important for me not to express a view on the merits of that or the outcome of that. That’s precisely the thing the commission says I mustn’t do.’
Marr asked: ‘Is there a way back for him?’
Starmer replied: ‘I would ask Jeremy to reflect on what he said on Thursday.’
Marr repeated: ‘Would you like to see Jeremy Corbyn back in the Labour Party?
‘Well now you’re inviting me to see what the outcome of this would be,’ Starmer said.
‘Would you like him to be back in the tent or not?’ Marr said again.
‘I would like to see Jeremy reflect on what he said and I think that would be the right next thing for him to do,’ said Starmer.
‘Reflect and apologise?’ Marr persisted.
‘I think he should reflect on what he said. I think it’s pretty clear across the Labour movement that most people think he is completely in the wrong place on this,’ answered Starmer.