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Good morning. Sir Keir Starmer has given an interview to the Daily Telegraph (paywall) to mark the first anniversary of his election as Labour leader (on Sunday) and it may make worrying reading for No 10. Sounding more libertarian than Boris Johnson (which is not easy), Starmer told the Telegraph he though that, if Covid deaths were even lower later this year, “then the British instinct in those circumstances will be against vaccine passports”. By vaccine passports, he seemed to be referring to Covid-status certificates (which would allow people to use a recent negative test result instead of proof of vaccination) and, although he did not firmly commit Labour to voting against them, he implied this was likely. My colleague Peter Walker has the story here.
One point Starmer makes may be particularly awkward for No 10. Boris Johnson has not yet committed the government to this proposal, but one idea being considered it to simply let venues like pubs decide for themselves whether or not to operate systems like this. “It may be up to individual publicans, it may be up to the landlord,” Johnson told the Commons liaison committee last week. The following day Liam Fox, the former cabinet minister, told MPs that, because Conservatives believed in freedom, they should be letting companies decide for themselves what to do. But Starmer said the government should either mandate a Covid-status certification system or rule it out; he told the Telegraph:
I think this idea that we sort of outsource this to individual landlords is just wrong in principle.
I will post more from his interview shortly.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: The ONS publishes figures on vaccine hesitancy, as well as a report on a prevalence of long Covid.
11am: Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, holds a press conference.
12pm: Alex Salmond, Scotland’s former first minister, holds a campaign launch event for his new party Alba.
12pm: MLAs hold a debate in the Northern Ireland assembly on an SDLP motion condemning Sinn Fein ministers for attending the Bobby Storey funeral.
12.15pm: Mark Drakeford, the Welsh first minister, hold a press conference where he will confirm measures to take Scotland fully to alert level 3 by 17 May.
12.30pm: Prof Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser, speaks at a Royal Society of Medicine online event.
2pm: The ONS publishes the latest results from its Covid infection survey.
2pm: Public Health England publishes its weekly Covid surveillance report.
Johnson is also doing a visit in Teesside this morning.
Politics Live has been mostly about Covid for the last year and I will be covering UK coronavirus developments today, as well as non-coronavirus Westminster politics. For global coronavirus news, do read our global live blog.
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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: UK Covid live: Starmer says Johnson wrong to ‘outsource’ coronavirus checks to pub landlords | Politics