UK risks being ‘caught out’ by new variant if ‘me first attitude’ is taken on vaccinations

Appearing in the Commons virtually while in self-isolation, Sir Keir Starmer echoes Mr Johnson’s comments about Holocaust Memorial Day.

Sir Keir refers to the milestone of 100,000 deaths, and says “that’s not just a statistic – behind every death is a grieving family, a mum, a dad, a sister, a brother, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour.”

“The question on everyone’s lips this morning is ‘why’? Can he tell us why he thinks that the United Kingdom has ended up with a death toll of 100,000 – the highest number in Europe?”

Boris Johnson says he mourns “every death in this pandemic, and we share the grief of all those who have been bereaved”.

“Let him be in no doubt and the House be in no doubt that I and the Government take full responsibility for all of the actions we’ve taken during this pandemic to fight this disease. And yes, Mr Speaker, there will indeed be a time when we must learn the lessons of what has happened, reflect on them and prepare.

“I don’t think that moment is now, when we are in the throes of fighting this wave of the variant, and I think what the country wants is for us to come together as a Parliament and as politicians and to work to keep the virus under control as we are, and to continue to roll out the fastest vaccination in Europe.”