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5 Jan, 2022 12:03

Labour’s leader tests positive again for Covid

Sir Kier Starmer begins his sixth isolation, having contracted coronavirus for the second time since October
Labour’s leader tests positive again for Covid

Labour Party leader Sir Kier Starmer has been forced to withdraw from Wednesday’s Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) session in Parliament after testing positive for Covid a day after delivering a key speech in Birmingham.

The Labour Party announced on Wednesday that Starmer had again contracted Covid. It was detected as part of his regular testing regime, forcing him to self-isolate for the sixth time since the pandemic began. He has received two doses of a Covid vaccine as well as a booster shot, and is not thought to have developed any symptoms, but is following government guidance to quarantine.

He had previously contracted the virus at the end of October, and had also had to self-isolate on four other occasions after coming into contact with others who had tested positive.

Starmer’s positive test result comes less than 24 hours after he set out his vision for the country during a speech in Birmingham, where he outlined his “contract with the British people” if Labour takes office at the next election.

Present at the event were a number of local Labour MPs, regional officials, party advisers, and members of the media. After speaking, Sir Kier toured a green energy research site nearby. It is not known if anyone else he came into contact with has tested positive or is self-isolating.

The UK government’s rules currently mandate that infected people must self-isolate for 10 days from the day they test positive using a PCR test, although this can be reduced to seven if they test negative on two separate lateral flow tests taken 24 hours apart on days five and six.

Starmer’s positive result comes after the UK hit a record-high number of daily Covid cases, reporting 218,724 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total number recorded in the past seven days to 1,269,878.