‘Why is he saying that?!’ Keir Starmer savaged over South Africa strain risk claims

‘Why is he saying that?!’ Keir Starmer savaged over South Africa strain risk claims

February 9, 2021

Lucy Powell grilled on Starmer’s comments on Covid strain

Labour’s Shadow Business Minister Lucy Powell was grilled by Louise Minchin about Sir Keir Starmer’s comments on the spread of the coronavirus mutation. Ms Minchin exclaimed: “Why’s he saying that?!” as she explained to BBC Breakfast viewers that scientist including Professor Jonathan Van-Tam had said the strain was “unlikely to take over.” The presenter demanded to know why Sir Keir Starmer believed the South African variant, therefore, caused such a serious risk in his view.

Ms Minchin asked: “Why is Sir Keir Starmer calling the South African variant the single biggest risk in the pandemic at the moment?

“Scientists including Jonathan Van-Tam saying that for example, the South African stain is unlikely to take over.

“Why is he saying that!?”

Ms Powell replied: “These variants, especially the variants that are found to be resistant to the vaccine that we are currently rolling out are of course a worry.

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“That is why we have been concerned that there haven’t been tougher measures on protecting our borders and potentially stopping these variants coming into our country from people travelling here.

“The Government said it was going to introduce the quarantine hotels system that is only just about coming into play now.

“There sort of delays we can ill afford because that is how the new variant takes seed in this country from other countries.

“So we have to be very vigilant to these mutations and of course viruses do mutant but the ones that show themselves to be resistant to vaccines are a particular concern.”

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It comes after Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds has received an embarrassing knockback from the general public after a radio focus group of swing voters found none had heard of the politician.

Times Radio presenter Matt Chorley hosted a focus group to discuss the Labour Party‘s progress under Sir Keir Starmer among must-win swing voters.

In an embarrassing turn of events for the Shadow Chancellor, none of those asked could say who Ms Dodds was.

Mr Chorley asked Times Radio Focus Group guests: “Does anyone know who Anneliese Dodds is?”

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There followed an awkward pause before one participant responded “who?”

“Any thoughts on Anneliese Dodds?” repeated the host.

“Never heard of her,” came the response from multiple people. 

“Doesn’t ring a bell,” was the response of one. 

 

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