Keir Starmer says Boris Johnson is ‘mired in deceit and deception’ and ‘unable to lead’


Sir Keir Starmer says defending ‘partygate’ is distracting the government from running the country (Picture: Getty Images)

Boris Johnson is ‘too preoccupied defending his rule-breaking’ to fix problems facing the NHS, Labour’s leader will say in a major speech.

Sir Keir Starmer, will tell the Fabian Society conference, that the Prime Minister is not fit to lead the country in the wake of the ‘partygate’ scandal.

Johnson has faces calls from Tory MPs to resign after he finally admitted this week to attending a ‘bring your own booze’ party in No 10’s garden during lockdown in May 2020.

This was at a time when people were limited to meeting just one other person outdoors, while funerals were socially distanced and had limited attendees.

He said sorry to the Commons but insisted he thought it was a ‘work event’ – which to many came across as a non-apology.

Claims of a number of other lockdown parties in Downing Street are being investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray.

Later today Sir Keir is due to set out his ‘personal crusade’ for NHS reform, accusing subsequent Tory-led administrations of allowing the health service to fall into a ‘critical condition’.

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The Labour leader is going on the offensive as Boris Johnson’s Government loses allies (Picture: PA)

He is set to say: ‘Rather than concentrating on getting through the pandemic and bringing down waiting lists, this self-indulgent Tory party is instead having a fight about a leader who they should have known from the start is not fit for office.

‘We are witnessing the broken spectacle of a Prime Minister mired in deceit and deception, unable to lead. When we left office 12 years ago, the Conservatives inherited a strong NHS.

‘Waiting times were the shortest on record. Today, NHS waiting lists are the highest since records began.

‘And it is not good enough to blame all this on Covid – this mess has been much longer in the making.

‘This Government has to bear the responsibility. Why have we got to this point, where the NHS itself is in a critical condition?’

The PM has apologised for attending a lockdown party in May 2020 but insists he thought it was a ‘work-event’ (Picture: Getty Images)
Earlier this week Labour opened up a 10-point lead against the Tories in the wake of the party scandal (Picture: Getty Images)

The opposition leader will use the conference speech to describe his vision of a ‘contract for better health’ in order to provide people with the ‘security, prosperity and respect they deserve’ under a Labour government.

Those changes will include ensuring ‘a health system that is a bit less about the system and a lot more about the patient’, with care moving towards prevention to reflect Britain’s ‘older society’, according to party officials.

Sir Keir will make commitments for his administration to treat mental health as seriously as physical health and guarantee support for people in need in under a month.

He is expected to add: ‘It is obvious that the NHS needs more money. But that is not all it needs.

‘When we were in government, we started to reform the NHS – so that it was pointed more towards the patient, so that it answered the needs of the time.

‘That reform process has stalled because this Government doesn’t care if the NHS falls behind. Boris Johnson is too preoccupied defending his rule breaking.’

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