Sir Kier Starmer calls for circuit breaker

Following the approval of legislation to write a new three-tier system into law, Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer has called for a short lockdown or ‘circuit-breaker’ in England of two to three weeks.

In an attack on the government, Starmer said stricter measures were needed to bring the rising rate of coronavirus under control and that current measures, both already in place and put forward by the Prime Minister, were not working.

The government’s scientific advisers called for similar action three weeks ago. Under his suggestion, Starmer said that schools would not close, but it would mean that all pubs, bars and restaurants would be closed and compensated ‘so that no business loses out because of the sacrifices we all need to make’.

Furthermore, he said that only essential work and travel would be allowed and everyone who can work from home should do so, with non-essential offices told to close, and that household mixing should be restricted to one household except for those who have formed support bubbles.

He also suggested that it would provide a chance for the government to ‘fix’ problems by handing over track and trace responsibilities to local authorities.