The Tories will be revelling tonight after Sir Keir admitted he made a mistake when denying he’d said he wanted to the UK to be a member of the EMA post-Brexit. A statement just released from Labour Press says:
“On a number of occasions the Prime Minister has wrongly claimed that Labour wanted to join the EU’s vaccine programme. That is inaccurate and the claim has been found to be untrue.”
“This afternoon during Prime Minister’s Questions, Keir misheard the Prime Minister and assumed he was making the same false accusation again.”
“Keir accepts that, on this occasion, the Prime Minister was referring to old comments about the European Medicines Agency and Keir admits he was wrong and made a mistake in his response.”
Unfortunately, they then put their foot in it again by repeating the false claim that Labour has “never called for the UK to be in the EU vaccine programme”, which Guido and others have fact-checked previously.
Last year, I tweeted about the EU vaccine scheme.— Catherine West MP (@CatherineWest1) February 1, 2021
My tweet has proven to be wrong, and I've now apologised and deleted it. Our NHS is doing a great job and I'll continue supporting the effort to vaccine Britain
Only problem with this denial and apology is that Starmer’s Shadow Minister for Europe, Catherine West, has already apologised on Monday for taking the position that the UK should join the EU’s vaccine programme. A stance Starmer still denies Labour advocated. It can’t be untrue if she publicly apologised for saying it was dumb not to join the EU’s vaccine programme.
UPDATE: Despite Starmer’s just released denial, Hansard shows Labour’s Health Spokesperson in the Lords actually pressed the Minister on joining the EU Vaccine Scheme. It is undeniable that Starmer’s front benchers were pretty keen on the EU scheme…