‘I asked you about distancing!’ Labour’s Ashworth dodges questions on party’s Covid policy

Labour's Ashworth grilled by Minchin over COVID-19 policy

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The Labour MP squirmed as BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin repeatedly asked him a string of questions as to what the Labour Party would have done differently to the government as England emerges from lockdown. In recent days Mr Ashworth has repeatedly attacked the government over its July 19 “terminus date” for dropping coronavirus restrictions in England but has struggled to outline precisely how Labour would have implemented restrictions differently. It comes following a car crash interview on Andrew Marr where the Labour MP failed to confirm whether Labour fully support today’s reopening of the economy.

Mr Ashworth was asked whether Labour would change the current dropping of social distancing and scrapping of a host of other restrictions.

He replied: “We think today is reckless and we don’t support the way in which the government has approached today. We would have had a different approach. 

“We would have been more cautious, we would have unlocked in stages.

“So we could keep mask wearing we think that’s a really important intervention.”

But Ms Minchin frustratedly interjected, saying: “Could I just ask you specifically. I asked you specifically about social distancing!

“Would you have kept for example the rules around social distancing?”

Mr Ashworth continued to reel off Labour’s proposed policy around ventilation and mask wearing but did not directly answer the question on social distancing claiming that he would keep distancing under “constant review’.

He said: “So all of these particular measures, all of these particular changes need to be kept under review.”

More to follow…

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