Real opposition? Labour’s Starmer stands up for NHS workers… but gets slammed for being late & doing it on Twitter
Labour leader Keir Starmer has been accused of political theatrics after firing off an angry tweet about the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. Some have asked – maybe he should do something about it then?
The internet fracas began after Health Secretary Matt Hancock stressed that UK healthcare workers fighting Covid-19 should use face masks and other medical garments “in line with the guidelines: no more and no less.” He insisted that there was enough personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical personnel – but only if the equipment is worn in adherence with current protocols.
Labour’s newly-appointed leader took offense to the notion. “It is quite frankly insulting to imply that frontline staff are wasting PPE,” Starmer argued in a tweet. He also called on the Tory government to ensure that all healthcare workers receive the supplies they need.
It is quite frankly insulting to imply frontline staff are wasting PPE. There are horrific stories of NHS staff and care workers not having the equipment they need to keep them safe. The Government must act to ensure supplies are delivered. https://t.co/kQWbiO0zoh— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) April 11, 2020
Judging by social media responses, Starmer isn’t the only one angered by Hancock’s remarks. A like-minded reply expressed gratitude that Starmer was raising these issues – but criticized him for not speaking up sooner and not doing more.
Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr took an even less sympathetic view.
Keir, serious question: why are you tweeting this instead of demanding answers in parliament? Why haven’t you called for parliament to be recalled? MPs, too, are failing NHS staff. Angry tweets are just angry tweets. Parliament has power. Where is it?? https://t.co/HOwhFMd6gz— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) April 11, 2020
Other observers accused Starmer of stirring up partisan politics during a time of national crisis.
“I’m not going to oppose for opposition’s sake only”Pure political opportunism from a faux socialist!— Jon W (@jonw101961) April 11, 2020
“That plan not to play party politics with Covid didn’t last long,”quipped one unimpressed netizen.
Amid fears of spreading coronavirus, Parliament shut its doors on March 26 after rushing through emergency laws to deal with the pandemic. The legislative body is scheduled to return to work on April 21.
Earlier this week, the new Labour leader called for the government to publish an “exit strategy” for the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.Also on rt.com The UK govt needs to start telling us the truth on Covid-19; lockdown is NOT a way of beating the virus
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