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"We've got to do everything we can to save lives." - Labour's Jon Ashworth calls for Boris Johnson to act quickly on a 3rd national lockdown

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth says Labour would support a third national lockdown if that's what the scientists advised Boris Johnson.

After London and the South East was put into Tier 4 restrictions due to the highly transmissible new Covid variant the government is facing a decision over whether to put the country into a national lockdown.

Mr Ashworth said Boris Johnson has previously acted too slowly when it comes to reacting to new information from his scientific advisers and it has cost the country.

"When you're dealing with a virus that spreads as ferociously as this you've got to act quickly," he said. "Last time he was advised at the end of September to go for a short circuit breaker lockdown and when we called on him to do it he mocked us and ridiculed us, then he was forced to do it."

The Shadow Health Secretary says the Prime Minister has to do everything in his power to save lives and he 'sat on' the information last time which led to devastating consequences.

Mr Ashworth went on to say there is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine coming through but the country is in a race against time at the moment.

"We've got to drive those infections down and really roll out that vaccination programme. So as well as tougher restrictions let's get more resources behind the vaccination programme, let's get more doses ready to go," he said. "The sooner we can get people vaccinated, the sooner we can beat this virus. But it really is a race against time because of this variant in the virus.

"Let's use tougher restrictions to get the infection spread down but let's also put rocket boosters under that vaccination programme."

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