Christmas chaos: Keir Starmer demands emergency COBRA meeting to cancel five day rule

Christmas: Sadiq Khan criticises coronavirus restrictions

In a letter to Boris Johnson, he said: “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.”

The Leader of the Opposition’s intervention comes after London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire were placed under emergency Tier 3 restrictions yesterday.

The capital and surrounding areas will be thrown into the strictest Tier from midnight tonight after a surge in cases due to a new strain of the coronavirus.

Pressure is growing on the Prime Minister to now consider scrapping the easing of restrictions to allow three households to gather indoors between December 23 and 27.

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Writing to Mr Johnson, Sir Keir said while any change to the plans to save Christmas would be “deeply disappointing”, he believed it was needed to ensure the Covid crisis did not spiral out of control.

He wrote: “Any further tightening of restrictions will obviously be deeply disappointing to many across the country.

“But the public do not want false reassurance, warm words or ducked challenges from their Prime Minister. They want leadership.”

In a sign the Prime Minister could be set to u-turn on the five day relaxation period, his spokesman this afternoon said the measures would be kept under constant review.

More to follow…

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