The Shadow Home Secretary made the intervention during an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? programme on Friday evening. Ms Abbott welcomed the way the Government was dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak but stressed she would like more information on the coronavirus crisis.
Addressing the situation in the UK and how the outbreak is being dealt with, she said: “Well, first of all, I’d like to commiserate the 163 victims.
“It must be appalling. And also people who are victims who feel they may go the way of the two that have died.
“I am happy with the way the Government is handling it, as far as I know.
“But actually I would like to know more.”
The Jeremy Corbyn ally went on to demand the Government better inform her of its strategy to deal with the outbreak even if it was not appropriate.
She said: “It might not be appropriate for me to know more, but I would like to know more.
“I am not sure that all we want from the Government, publicly, are soothing noises and telling us to wash our hands.”
The Shadow Cabinet member insisted Boris Johnson needed to do more to provide assurances to those on zero-hour contracts who are not eligible for sick pay after it was announced during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday statutory sick pay will be provided to all workers from the first day they take off under the emergency coronavirus legislation.
Under normal legislation, the benefit is not available until the fourth day someone takes off due to sickness.
The Shadow Home Secretary appeared to admit the party did not clearly communicate their policy agenda with the electorate as she conceded the defeat was catastrophic.
She said: “There was never a Momentum experiment as you describe it.
“There was a lot of people, we ended up with 500,000 members who joined the party to support Jeremy Corbyn.
“It wasn’t an experiment, it was an organic thing when people joined. But we have to face facts however you want to explain it, we went down to a catastrophic defeat in December and we have to examine what caused that, was it every single policy?
“Was it the fact there were too many policies crammed into the manifesto?”
Published at Sat, 07 Mar 2020 00:01:00 +0000