'We can't return to old ways': Starmer calls for 'better' society after Covid-19 and 'clear directions' to ease lockdown

Sir Keir Starmer has demanded the prime minister outlines "clear directions" on how the government will ease lockdown conditions, criticising Boris Johnson's new messaging as unclear.

In a direct response to the PM's Sunday evening national address, the Labour leader recorded his own speech, in which he attacked the government's coronavirus response.

Mr Johnson's prerecorded address - which set out how lockdown would be eased in England to increase outdoor activity and promote a return to work - was criticised by the Labour leader as lacking clarity.

"What we needed from the prime minister last night was clarity and reassurance," Sir Keir said.

"We needed to hear that nobody would be asked to go to work or send their children to school, without it being safe to do so.

"We needed to know that the huge problems we’ve seen with protective equipment are over, that the crisis in our care homes has finally been gripped.

"That everybody who needs a test can get one."

The Labour leader said "above all", he and many members of the public had wanted to know "when we can see our loved ones again."

But now, he says, "so many of us have questions that need answering".

He said detail is missing on returning to work, on public transport usage, on childcare, and on how the police should enforce the rules.

"The prime minister said he was setting out a road map, but if we are to complete the journey safely a road map needs clear directions," he said.

Sir Keir said he's so far had the "courage" to support the government in implementing a lockdown, but said now was the time to show bravery by challenging the government "when its getting it wrong".

He also questioned why Mr Johnson had taken an approach that did not involve Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

"Why are some parts of the United Kingdom now on a different path to others?" he asked.

In the House of Commons Mr Johnson acknowledged "different parts of the UK may need to stay in full lockdown longer" but said that should only be "short-term".

Sir Keir said he would continue to question the government "or as long as this crisis persists".

And he said when it's over, he's "determined" that the UK will "build a better society".

Sir Keir Starmer says he will continue to question Boris Johnson's coronavirus response.

"After all this, all the sacrifice and the loss, we can’t go back to business as usual," he said.

He said when the UK gets through the crisis, it will have been down to the "bravery of every key worker" who has taken on the virus "and kept our country going".

"In their courage and their sacrifice and their bravery we can see a better future."

He added: "We can’t go back to a society where we clap our carers once a week, but where half of our care workers are paid less than the real living wage.

"We cant go back to a society where we pay tribute to the heroes of the second world war, but see our care homes as an afterthought.

"And we can’t go back to a country where we don’t invest in our public services but expect our frontline workers to protect us."

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