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Boris Johnson accused Sir Keir Starmer of “misleading” fellow MPs about the effective number of people coming into contact with coronavirus patients being informed through the track and trace system. But as he attempted to hit back at Sir Keir for his claim, Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle intervened and shut down the Prime Minister before he could deliver his rebuke. Sir Lindsay cut short Mr Johnson as he took issue with the language the Prime Minister used to address the Leader of the Opposition.

Sir Lindsay said: “Prime Minister one of us is going to have to give way and it’ll have to be you.

“Prime Minister, obviously nobody misleads and no Honourable Member would, whichever side they are from.”

The Prime Minister however immediately recovered from the interruption and changed his terminology to avoid further issues with the Speaker.

Mr Johnson said: “He inadvertently given a false impression of what test and trace is.

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“33,000 cases in the country are, of course, an estimate.

“What test and trace is doing is contacting the vast majority of those who test positive and their own contacts and getting them to self-isolate.

“It is a formidable achievement.”

Mr Johnson also hit out at Sir Keir Starmer after the Labour leader on Tuesday signalled he would support Government efforts to ensure the track and trace system is successful.

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The Prime Minister said: “And yesterday, the Honourable Gentleman was kind enough to say he supported our policy and he supported our programme.

“I remember him saying it loud and clear. Today, and I understand the constraints of the profession in which he used to work, he appears to be yo-yo-ing back into a position of opposition.

“Which is it? Is he supporting what we’re doing or is he against it?”

Sir Keir had been questioning the Prime Minister over the speed and preparation of easing the lockdown after Mr Johnson announced the hospitality sector will be able to reopen on July 4.


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The Labour leader said: “The figures I gave that the Prime Minister said are inadvertently misleading are on the slide at his press conference yesterday, a slide at the Government’s press conference last week on latest figures.

“I do support the next stage of the operation but the Prime Minister is wrong to reject a challenge.

“65,000 people have lost their lives because of COVID-19, the Prime Minister welcomed challenge that could save lives rather than complaining about it.

“Another risk to this plan is if councils don’t have the powers and the resources to implement local lockdown.”

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