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Thu, 9 July 2020

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Boris Johnson accuses Keir Starmer of being ‘misleading’ in bitter row over care home guidance

Boris Johnson accuses Keir Starmer of being ‘misleading’ in bitter row over care home guidance

Keir Starmer called for Boris Johnson to 'correct the record' after PMQs (PA)

2 min read

Boris Johnson has hit back at Sir Keir Starmer in a row over coronavirus guidance for care homes and accused him of being “misleading”.

The Prime Minister also said he was "disappointed" at the Labour leader for not working “constructively” as the pair traded letters on Wednesday afternoon following a testy exchange at PMQs.

The row started when Sir Keir quoted the Government’s official advice from February, which said “it remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected”.

But Mr Johnson claimed “it wasn’t true that the advice said that”, prompting the opposition boss to write to him urging him to correct the record.

Sir Keir said it was “more important than ever that Government ministers are accurate in the information they give”, adding: “Given this, I expect you to come to the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity to correct the record and to recognise that this was official Government guidance regarding care homes.”

But a Conservative spokesperson accused Sir Keir of “inaccurately and selectively” quoting from the document, which was superseded by updated advice on March 13.

Mr Johnson has now sent an official reply to the Labour leader, saying: "I am disappointed that in the House today you chose to quote Public Health England advice selectively and misleadingly, and I stand by my comments."

The PM added: "I would remind you of the commitment you made, when you became Leader of the Opposition, to work constructively with the Government in the face of this unprecedented pandemic.

"The public expect us to work together.

"As I have demonstrated through repeated engagement and consultation with opposition parties in recent months, I have sought to build the maximum political consensus behind our response to coronavirus.

"I hope it remains your position to pursue that same consensus."

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