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Labour leader calls on Boris Johnson to convene Cobra “in the next 24 hours”, saying government has “lost control” of infections.

 

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for Boris Johnson to urgently review the Covid rules for Christmas amid a sharp rise in cases.

 

In a letter to the prime minister, Starmer called for Cobra to be convened “in the next 24 hours”, claiming the government has “once again lost control” of the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes amid growing fears the five-day relaxation of the rules between December 23 and 27 could see the pandemic spiral in January, when winter pressures on the NHS are at their most acute.

 

Meanwhile, London, most of Essex and parts of Hertfordshire are set to move into the strictest local lockdown, tier 3, from Wednesday.

 

The letter reads: “It has become increasingly clear over recent days that the tier system you introduced two weeks ago has failed to control transmission of Covid-19.

 

“Sadly, it does now appear that the government has – once again – lost control of infections, putting our economy and our NHS at grave risk in the new year.”

 

He adds: “I understand that people want to spend time with their families after this awful year, but the situation has clearly taken a turn for the worse since the decision about Christmas was taken. It serves no-one for politicians to ignore this fact.

 

“It is my view that you should now convene Cobra in the next 24 hours to review whether the current relaxation is appropriate given the rising number of cases.”

 

Former Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt has also called for Johnson to review the rules.

 

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