Starmer urges Government to reveal its Covid-19 lockdown exit strategy
"But, I do think, the question therefore is what comes next?"
He added: "People are trusting the Government... but they do need to see light at the end of the tunnel.
"I'm not asking the Government for timings, of course, I understand why they can't give us timings. But we do need the trust of the public as we go forward."
This was a reinforcement of what he had already stated in a letter to Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Boris Johnson.
He wrote: "The question for Thursday therefore is no longer about whether the lockdown should be extended, but about what the Government's position is on how and when it can be eased in due course and on what criteria that decision will be taken.
"Ministers have argued that now is not the time to talk about this. I profoundly disagree. Overcoming this crisis requires taking the British public with you.
"Millions of people have played their part and exceeded Government assumptions about their willingness to make sacrifices and to stay at home in the national interest.
"In return, the Government needs to be open and transparent with the public about how it believes the lockdown will ease and eventually end, how this decision will be informed and what measures are being put in place to plan for this eventuality."
Sir Keir warned the "silent pressures" on communities across the UK "cannot be underestimated", and said that to maintain morale and hope "people need a sense of what comes next".
He urged Mr Raab to commit to setting out the criteria the Government will use to inform how and when it intends to ease the lockdown; to publish the exit strategy now or in the coming week; and to outline the sectors and core public services that are most likely to see restrictions eased.
Labour's call comes as the Government faces mounting pressure to set out how and when it plans to lift the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. No precise strategy has yet been announced.
A Government source said: "Our strategy is focused on saving lives.
"We have been clear that all decisions will be guided by the scientific advice and data.
"Talk of an exit strategy before we have reached the peak risks confusing the critical message that people need to stay at home in order to protect our NHS and save lives."
A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:
Thank you for reading this story on our website.
But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.
Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.
As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.
We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.