Labour are now going in hard on the argument that by ignoring SAGE’s original request for a circuit breaker lockdown, and Sir Keir’s lobbying, the government has now had to implement a longer-than-necessary lockdown of four weeks, rather than the two-weeks that were originally asked for. The problem with this argument is not only do Labour know it to be untrue – multiple shadow cabinet members admitted it on camera.
On the 18th October, shadow education secretary Kate Green told Sky viewers that she couldn’t guarantee Labour’s proposed circuit breaker would last only 2–3 weeks:
“Nobody can guarantee what’s going to happen… we would have to look at the impact of the circuit breaker and it would take time to feed through.”
The same day, shadow cabinet office minister Rachel Reeves on Andrew Marr refused to rule out repeated 2-week circuit breaker lockdowns:
Marr: “You say 2-3 weeks, but there could be then a short gap, then another 2-3 weeks, and then another and another and another”
Reeves: “and if that is what is needed then that’s the approach that has to be taken”
Sir Keir told the CBI yesterday that Boris’s ‘longer’ 4-week lockdown will severely harm business and jobs. That’s not in doubt – however how much more harmful would Labour’s public lack of a clear plan have been?