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Julia Hartley-Brewer slammed the Labour Party for lending their support to the Government and allowing Boris Johnson to lockdown the UK for yet another month because of the coronavirus pandemic. Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth insisted his party had not backed the policy “happily” but had been moved to support it by the data available at the time. The talkRADIO presented bet the Labour frontbencher £100 his party would not oppose attempts to impose a third lockdown in the coming months.
After Mr Ashworth insisted the Labour Party will seek reassurances on how to avoid a third lockdown, Ms Hartley- Brewer said: “Ok…which the Labour Party will happily vote for.
“A hundred quid to charity, whenever the next lockdown is announced, you and the rest of the Labour frontbench will happily vote for another lockdown.
“Without any evidence that it’ll work. You will vote for it.”
The shadow Health Secretary replied “Not happily. If that is what is proposed, we will consider it, we will consider the details, we will consider the infection rate.”
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But the response prompted Ms Hartley-Brewer to hit back saying: “You didn’t consider the details the last time.”
The radio host earlier in the programme had blasted the Labour Party over their support to the Government in the vote to introduce the second lockdown earlier in November.
She said: “There’s going to be a massive effect on the economy of four million public sector workers not getting a couple of percent pay rise but you’re not that bothered about most of the private sector being shut down for a month at a time. That’s ok, you’ll vote for that.”
As Mr Ashworth attempted to defend his party’s position, Ms Hartley-Brewer could be seen repeatedly intervening to remind him: “You voted for it. You voted for it, Jonathan. You voted for it.”
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The Labour frontbencher insisted the support for the second, England-wide lockdown was the result of the Government’s failure to “fix” the test and tracing system, leaving his party with no option but to back full closure.
He said: “I am bothered. I am bothered about it, I don’t want to see it. It’s why you warn the Government.
“Back in the summer, we said to the Government if you don’t fix testing and tracing, you’re going to be in a mess. And they didn’t fix test and tracing.
“I did vote for it, yes. I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to put us in a four-week lockdown.”
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Mr Ashworth continued: “Because I looked at the level of infection rate and hospital admission and I thought we had no other option.
“When I listen to NHS leaders warning about what was happening in our hospitals, and asking us to do that, I thought it was the responsible thing to do.
“But nobody wanted to be in a situation where we had to impose a second lockdown on the British people. “
He added: “And I certainly don’t want to see a third one so we need reassurance from the Government that they have a plan to avoid a third lockdown.”
The England-wide lockdown will expire on December 2, with the Government suggesting a tighter tiers system could be put into place instead.
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