Prime Minister Questions became a case of lawyer vs liar today after Keir Starmer exposed Boris Johnson’s blatant bluffs.
The Labour Party leader responded to the PM’s statement on Sunday by using the government’s own guidelines to ask if they were too slow to protect those in care homes.
“Mr Speaker, in a speech on Sunday, the prime minister said that we need to rapidly reverse the awful epidemic in our care homes. But earlier this year and until the 12 March the government’s own official advice was, and I’m quoting from it, ‘it remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home will become infected.’
“Yesterday’s ONS figures show that at least 40 per cent of all deaths from Covid-19 were in care homes. Does the prime minister accept that the government was too slow to protect people in care homes?”
In response Johnson said:
“No, Mr Speaker and it wasn’t true that the advice said that and actually, we brought the lockdown in care homes ahead of the general lockdown and what we’ve seen is a concerted action plan to tackle what is unquestionably an appalling epidemic.”
Unfortunately for the prime minister, this is exactly what the guidance said. Here is the webpage to prove it.
Thankfully it didn’t go unnoticed:
At #PMQs Keir Starmer questioned why the government’s advice until 12th March said: “it remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home will become infected”.— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) May 13, 2020
Boris Johnson replied, “It wasn’t true that the advice said that”.
This was the official advice?? pic.twitter.com/8FORZ1DjNb
Starmer later wrote to the PM, reminding him that “at a time of national crisis, it is more important than ever that Government ministers are accurate in the information they give.”