15 April 2020

Labour leader Keir Starmer says Government must outline exit strategy plans

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for ministers to set out an exit strategy from lockdown.

In a letter to Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Starmer pointed out that children are currently getting different levels of education.

“The longer the schools are closed, the bigger the gap between children who are getting pretty good homeschooling and those that aren’t."

He also said earlier that the Government needs to be open with the public and that getting schools and businesses back up and running should be a priority.

He told the Today programme: "We've got to have the trust of the public. [It is] inevitable that the lockdown will have to continue.

"For that trust there needs to be transparency and openness - they need to know what the thinking is on when lockdown will end."

The Government are expected to announce on Thursday that lockdown measures are to continue.

One government source told The Guardian no exit plan will be laid out until the death toll starts to decrease. 

“Our strategy is focused on saving lives. We have been clear that all decisions will be guided by the scientific advice and data. Talk of an exit strategy before we have reached the peak risks confusing the critical message that people need to stay at home in order to protect our NHS and save lives," they said.

This comes after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said there wass obvious concern over the economy.

It has been projected that the UK economy could shrink by 35 percent in the aftermath of lockdown.

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid, also speaking on the Today programme, said: "[It is important to] phase out this lockdown as soon as we possibly can based on scientific advice."

Javid added that if he were still Chancellor he would have looked at securing 100 per cent emergency loans to business after reports suggest banks are not lending.

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