By Rachael Grealish
In response to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announcing modifications to the lockdown measures, the leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, has criticised the PM’s ‘clarity’.
He said: “This statement raises more questions than it answers, and we see the prospect of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland pulling in different directions.
“The prime minister appears to be effectively telling millions of people to go back to work without a clear plan for safety or clear guidance as to how to get there without using public transport.
“What the country wanted tonight was clarity and consensus, but we haven’t got either of those.”
In his message to the country, this evening (Sunday, May 10) Johnson said he ‘urges’ people to return to work who can do so safely – as an example he said those who work in construction or manufacturing.
“We now need to stress that anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work,” the PM stated, “And we want it to be safe for you to get to work. So you should avoid public transport if at all possible – because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.
“So work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you can’t work from home. And to ensure you are safe at work we have been working to establish new guidance for employers to make workplaces COVID-secure. And when you do go to work, if possible do so by car or even better by walking or bicycle.”
Earlier in the day when the modifications were still under speculation Louise Haigh, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, commented on the lack of coordination on the government’s new public safety policy with devolved nations.
She said: “At a time when we need maximum clarity, the PM has decided to go it alone on messaging. This exposes a serious lack of coordination from number 10. We need a UK wide approach to defeat this virus, with the UK government working in conjunction with all nations, regions, local authorities and elected mayors.”
This seemingly has come from the fact each of the four nations, England, Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland, having their own versions of modifications to lockdown measures rather than being agreed in unity.