Politics

'How many lives lost because Tories ignored coronavirus warning signs?'


Those who have lost loved ones to coronavirus have a right to know why the UK has the highest death toll in Europe.

This level of suffering was not inevitable. The way the virus spread through Italy and Spain offered a warning to the Government of the need to act with speed to contain the outbreak.

Unlike some other countries, we were given a small but crucial window to prepare for this human disaster.

Ministers not only squandered this opportunity, they stand accused of failing to heed medical and scientific advice.

We know now that on the day the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies warned against human contact Boris Johnson was boasting about how many people he had shaken hands with.

Shaking hands with Boxer Anthony Joshua in London on March 9

We know advisers were urging ministers to change misleading advice on social distancing and to implement lockdown faster. And we know widespread testing was abandoned in March as there were not enough kits.

The PM has repeatedly said that from the outset the Government has followed the scientific advice. That has not always been the case.

The question he needs to answer is: how many lives have been lost as a result?

Now think big

The PM shaking hands in Bewdley, Worcestershire, on March 8

The shadow of coronavirus will extend over this country long after the outbreak has been contained.

Each day brings yet more evidence of the damage to jobs, businesses and industry.

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Staff are being shed in large numbers, millions have applied for universal credit and major firms fear for their survival. The immediate task is to support as many people as possible via the Government furlough scheme.

This is not a time to slash the rates of what is a lifeline for workers and their companies.

We need a bold plan to rebuild the economy in a way that benefits everyone everywhere.





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