Keir Starmer is demanding Boris returns to the Commons to correct the record after misleading the house over the government’s care home rules during PMQs. During the session, Starmer told Boris:
“Until 12 March, the Government’s own official advice was – and I’m quoting from it: “It remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home will become infected.”
Boris replied with “it wasn’t true that the advice said that”. Unfortunately for the PM, the advice did say precisely that. As per the government’s website, the official “Guidance for social or community care and residential settings on COVID-19″ set out:
“18. What social, community and residential care settings need to do now
Currently there is no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom. There is no need to do anything differently in any care setting at present.”
Prima facie there’s no wriggle room, prosecutor Starmer’s got him bang to rights…
UPDATE: Turns out there is wriggle room, Keir Starmer didn’t take the time to read the small print. Which is a bad failing in a lawyer:
This guidance is intended for the current position in the UK where there is currently no transmission of COVID-19 in the community. It is therefore very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected. This is the latest information and will be updated shortly.
UPDATE II: The footnote, it is now claimed, was added on March 13, so given Starmer’s precise question cites “until March 12” the answer Boris gave to that specific question is incorrect.
UPDATE III: Boris hits back in a letter to Starmer saying the advice published on February 25 included the disclaimer above that it referred to the current position.
Read Starmer’s letter to Boris in full: