Covid-19: UK Opposition Leader Keir Starmer goes into quarantine

Topics UK | UK parliament | Coronavirus

Britain's Opposition Leader, Sir Keir Starmer, on Monday went into quarantine, which could last up to two weeks, after a member of his household displayed symptoms of coronavirus.

The Labour Party leader's office said the unnamed member of his household has taken a test in line with the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) guidelines and is now awaiting results of that test. If the test comes back positive, Starmer would have to self isolate for 14 days.

"This morning Keir Starmer was advised to self-isolate after a member of his household showed possible symptoms of the coronavirus, a Labour Party spokesperson said.

"The member of his household has now had a test. In line with NHS guidelines, Keir will self isolate while awaiting the results of the test and further advice from medical professionals."

Downing Street said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to the Opposition leader after he went into self isolation following a radio interview earlier on Monday morning.

"The Prime Minister has spoken to the leader of the opposition this morning and gave best wishes to him and his family," a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Starmer's quarantine comes amid a rise in the COVID-19 infection rate across the UK, with stricter rules restricting the size of social gatherings to just six coming into force in England, Scotland and Wales from Monday.

The timing of his isolation will be particularly felt in Parliament as he was scheduled to take on the government over its controversial Internal Market Bill, which comes up for debate in the House of Commons on Monday.

Labour, along with many of Boris Johnson's own Conservative Party MPs, have said that they cannot back the bill in its current form as it threatens to breach international law by attempting to override parts of the Brexit divorce agreement struck with the European Union (EU).

Instead, Shadow Business Secretary and former Labour leader Ed Miliband will open for the party in the debate, expected to be a fiery exchange ahead of a vote later on Monday evening.

The government is expected to get the bill through at this stage with its comfortable majority in the Commons but it is likely to face hiccups during further stages in its progress to the House of Lords.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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