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Sir Keir Starmer has warned the country could soon “sleep walk into a long and bleak winter” if cases continue to rise.

Sir Keir Starmer has called for a two to three week “circuit breaker” lockdown in England as he accused the government of having “lost control” of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labour leader urged the prime minister to “act now” and “break the cycle” of COVID-19 infections, as he warned the country could soon “sleep walk into a long and bleak winter”.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey told Sky News his party would back Labour’s call.

And Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford told Times Radio he was “very actively” considering a “short, sharp intervention” in the country and the Welsh government was “working hard at that detail” of a circuit break lockdown.

Sir Keir has said a “temporary set of clear and effective restrictions” could be introduced to coincide with the October half-term in order to “minimise disruption”.

He also called for people to be banned from mixing with other households – apart from those who have formed a support bubble – and the shutting of all bars, pubs and restaurants.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, in response to Boris Johnson’s announcement of a new three-tier system for localised coronavirus restrictions, Sir Keir said there was “no longer time to give the prime minister the benefit of the doubt”.

“The government’s plan simply isn’t working – another course is needed,” he added.

A short lockdown would “provide an opportunity to reset and to rectify some of the mistakes the government has made”, Sir Keir said, as he demanded ministers “get a grip on testing and hand over track and trace to local authorities”.

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