Starmer demands Scottish and UK governments ‘get a grip’ on Covid-19

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for the Scottish and British governments to "get a grip" and work together to defeat the coronavirus.

He said the Tories in Westminster and the SNP administration in Holyrood both need to focus on the task at hand rather than prioritizing policies like Brexit and independence.

His plea came when he admitted that his party had "a mountain to climb" in the next general election in the UK and also in the Scottish Parliament elections less than eight months away.

He will make his first visit to Scotland since becoming Labor leader in April – with the trip after being forced to self-isolate after his child was tested for Covid-19.

He said on Wednesday that he was "very pleased and relieved" that they had received a negative result.

The visit comes, however, as Scottish Labor is divided by fighting and several MSPs of the party have urged leader Richard Leonard to leave.

Sir Keir wrote for the Scottish newspaper prior to his visit, stressing that Scotland "is of great importance to me and the Labor Party".

He said: “I am sure we have to climb a mountain, both in the next general election in the UK and in the Holyrood election next year.

“But I am confident that Labor will vote in these elections on these platforms.

"Our priority will not be another divisive independence referendum – it will adequately fund our national health service, protect jobs and invest in the future of our children."

"These are the priorities of the Scottish people and they are my priorities as the leader of the Labor Party."

He said Labor established the Scottish decentralized parliament following Tony Blair's 1997 election victory so that "decisions can be made closer to the people" but added that the Scottish and UK Governments must "work in partnership" to achieve this decentralization works effectively. .

He appealed to both administrations, asking them to "get a grip on themselves, focus on the task at hand and work together to defeat this virus".

Sir Keir argued that Westminster and Holyrood politicians "want to sit at the table and work together to defeat this virus and tackle the looming threat of mass unemployment" as next month's vacation program is jeopardized.

The Labor leader added: “I continue to believe that a four-nation approach is the best response to the health and economic crises we are facing.

"At this crucial time we cannot have a situation where the four nations of Britain are pulling in different directions."

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