‘What would you do then?’ Ashworth left fumbling as Phillips challenges Labour strategy

Jon Ashworth discusses his misgivings about Freedom Day

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Jonathan Ashworth appeared to struggle to explain what the Labour Party wants the British Government to do differently to ensure the UK is allowed to reopen safely. Sky News host Trevor Phillips called out the Labour frontbencher as he expressed doubts about Freedom Day on Monday as he noted his party had failed to outline how they would approach the lifting of lockdown. Mr Ashworth said the party would ensure mask-wearing remained mandatory, which prompted Mr Phillips to question Labour’s stance.

The Sky News presenter said: “Everything you’ve just said is pretty much what Conservative ministers come on here and say.

“So, other than moving from mandatory mask-wearing to voluntary mask-wearing – which surveys in the last few days show us around three-quarters or more people will do anyway – that’s the difference between you and the Government.”

Mr Ashworth hit back: “No. And with respect, I haven’t seen Conservative ministers coming on the news programs…”

But the response was quickly shut down, with Mr Phillips saying: “Let me assure you, you obviously haven’t been watching the programme, but that’s what they’ve been saying, pretty much what you’ve just said.”

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Mr Ashworth said: “They don’t talk about sick pay. They don’t say they’re going to fix sick pay.

“They don’t say they’re going to give people the right to work from home should they want to work from home.

“They don’t say they’re going to use British manufacturing to build air filtration systems to put them in schools.

“And they’re certainly not preparing for the future by investing in the NHS or indeed looking at our testing capacity and seeing if we can invest in our testing capacity to start testing for flu this winter as well.”

Mr Phillips however gauged the shadow Health Secretary for further insight into Labour’s stance: “I just want to keep seeing what the Labour Party, were they in Government, would do differently.

“One other area of policy where you might do things differently is the pingdeminc.”

More to follow…

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