Anneliese Dodds accused of “sitting on the fence” over lockdown easing

Anneliese Dodds accused of “sitting on the fence” over lockdown easing

first_imgAnneliese Dodds, the shadow chancellor and MP for OxfordEast, has been accused of “sitting on the fence” after avoiding stating whetherthe Labour Party supports the government’s easing of lockdown. However, Dodds did respond to the threat of a resurgence incoronavirus cases leading to a reintroduction of lockdown measures, and indoing so acknowledged the risks associated with an over-hasty easing oflockdown. She stated: “As you would expect as Shadow Chancellor, I’m very, veryconcerned about what could happen to our economy if that happens, as well asthe health impact.”  The short interview provoked frustration amongst some Laboursupporters, with many writing on twitter angered at the perceived lack ofclarity in Labour’s position, with one user stating: “What has become ofLabour? It’s awful.” In response to Mr Marr’s conclusion that “given your own tests, it seems to be that Labour must opposeunlocking”, Ms Dodds sought to distance Labour from the decision-makingprocess, suggesting that Labour does not have access to the same scientificinformation as the government. She said: “You know the government has takenthat decision and the opposition can’t take that decision because we don’t havethe scientific advice in front of us.” Anneliese Dodds stressed that parents should not feel pressured to return their children to school if they fear it is unsafe. She also challenged the government’s “lack of preparedness” that has led to the Prime Minister’s promise that “we will have a test, track and test operation that will be world-beating and yes it will be in place by June 1st” being unfulfilled, calling for the government to act “urgently” to clarify the scheme.  The Labour leader Keir Starmer had said on Friday that the party would not support a gradual easing of lockdown until these conditions were met. Appearing on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show onSunday, Dodds was asked several times whether she supported the government’smove to ease restrictions, but avoided answering the question directly. Thegovernment’s decision does not appear to align with conditions that Labour haddemanded be met before giving people more freedom, including the roll out of anational phone app and 250,000 tests a day, neither of which have beenachieved. Image credit to Cicero Group/ Flickr. Despite the warnings of some senior scientists that it isstill too early to relax strict lockdown measures, the government has pressedahead with plans to partially reopen schools and to allow groups of up to 6people to meet from Monday.last_img

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