‘Covid has exposed deep inequalities’ says Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer has set out his vision for a post-coronavirus Britain, declaring: “We can’t return to business as usual.”

Keir Starmer will on Thursday vow that as prime minister he would “create a new partnership between an active government and enterprising business”, in his first big speech on the economy since becoming Labour leader last April.

The Labour leader’s virtual speech followed recent speculation about his performance after 10 months in the role.

The Labour leader said the COVID-19 crisis had exposed the UK’s “fragilities” and must prompt a bout of national soul-searching, declaring now was a “moment to think again about the country we want to be”.

Photo: Darren Robinson / Alamy Stock Photo

The UK has recorded almost 120,000 coronavirus deaths, the fifth highest total in the world and the highest in Europe.

There has been a huge spike in the number of rapid turnaround lateral flow device Covid tests being taken in England, according to weekly data.

A record 2,400,724 of the tests were conducted in the week to 10 February, according to the latest NHS Test and Trace figures.

Is it too little too late now though?

Sir Keir said the pandemic had hit so hard because “the foundations of our society have been weakened over a decade”.

“They have been slow at every stage. They’ve ignored advice. They haven’t learnt from their mistakes,” he said.

He will claim that “failed Conservative ideology” had left society, including the NHS, weakened when the pandemic struck and said there must be “no return to business as usual”.

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