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The Labour leader called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “get a grip of this situation urgently before it spirals out of control” today. His plea came after it was revealed the average daily number of COVID cases in England had doubled in a week. Sir Keir blasted the Government by claiming it had lost control of the virus, which was harming the economy in the process.
He wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “Businesses, which have stepped up to help our country and economy through this pandemic, will face a weekend of uncertainty about whether or not they will be able to stay open.”
But it appears his criticism is still not enough for voters in a new poll.
YouGov asked 5,068 adults on October 8 about how well or badly the Labour Party is doing at holding the Government to account over its COVID-19 handling.
The results showed that 40 percent of voters believe Labour is not doing a good job of holding the Government to account.
And only 34 percent think it is doing a good job.
Sir Keir ripped into the Government for reportedly planning to order the temporary closure of pubs, bars and restaurants in coronavirus hotspots.
Ministers are also said to be considering new financial packages to help the hardest hit industries.
Many regional leaders have criticised the Government for not consulting them ahead of changes.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham even said he would challenge any closures.
Sir Keir added the Government should increase testing capacity by investing in the NHS and university laboratories.
He also believes local public health teams should be given responsibility for contact-tracing.
He said: “The Government is operating under the misguided, arrogant and counterproductive view that ‘Whitehall knows best’, that decisions can be made behind closed doors, without any real consultation or even picking up the phone to those on the frontline.
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“We don’t need a world-beating testing system, we just need one that works.”
Ministers are also expected to reveal a three-tier local lockdown system next week.
This may involve people who are most at risk being told to stay at home for months.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak also extra help for businesses and workers who are forced to stop work during local coronavirus lockdowns.
He said the Government would pay up to two-thirds of employees’ salaries, capped at £2,100 a month each, if they work for companies that are forced to close temporarily.
Data published earlier on Friday showed growth in August was much weaker than expected.
His announcement could lead to the temporary closure of bars and other businesses.
There are around 2.5 million jobs in the hospitality sector.
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