UK's Keir Starmer tests positive for coronavirus and enters isolation for sixth time

Labour leader receives a positive test result after a speech in Birmingham on Tuesday

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks at Millennium Point, Birmingham, setting out his party's ambition for a new Britain, on January 4. PA
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has tested positive for coronavirus a day after a major speech setting out his vision for Britain’s future.

Mr Starmer missed Prime Minister’s Questions, with deputy leader Angela Rayner stepping in to face Boris Johnson.

The Labour leader previously tested positive for coronavirus on the day of the Budget in October.

Mr Starmer is not thought to have any Covid-19 symptoms but the infection was picked up as part of his regular testing.

This latest positive test result will mean his sixth period of isolation since the start of the pandemic.

A Labour spokesman said Mr Starmer had been taking regular lateral flow tests.

“That is because the nature of his role obviously means that he is still going out and about and meeting people,” the spokesman said.

“I think it is the responsible thing to do in the situation, given the nature of his roles.”

On Tuesday, Mr Starmer addressed an audience in Birmingham where he promised “straight leadership” based on the values of “security, prosperity and respect” if his party is returned to power.

He spoke at Birmingham’s Millennium Point to a small group of city Labour MPs including Jess Phillips, Khalid Mahmood, Jack Dromey, Stephen McCabe and Preet Gill, and party advisers.

Also in the audience of about 20 were Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward, and the West Midlands regional police and crime commissioner Simon Foster.

Ms Phillips, Ms Gill and Mr Ward later joined Mr Starmer on a tour of a green energy and decarbonisation research site in the Tyseley area of the city.

The Labour spokesman said people Mr Starmer met at the event had been contacted to tell them of his positive test result.

Updated: January 06, 2022, 4:43 AM