Sir Keir Starmer has had to self-isolate due to coronavirus five times since becoming Labour leader. The MP for Holborn and St Pancras has struggled to break through in the polls, with YouGov suggesting 42 percent of Britons dislike Sir Keir.
Since becoming Labour leader, Sir Keir was told to self-isolate on September 14 and December 5 in 2020, as well as on January 25, July 21 and October 27 in 2021
In October, the party leader tested positive for Covid and said he was “absolutely gutted”.
He added: “I was absolutely gutted this morning to test positive for Covid just before PMQs and just before the budget response.
“I’m fine, but it’s obviously important that we follow the rules.”
However, according to the Sunday Times, who analysed YouGov polls from each time Sir Keir isolated due to Covid, Labour tends to perform better when the party leader is away.
On September 9, the Tories had a four-point lead over Labour, but by September 17 when Sir Keir first isolated, the parties were neck and neck on 40 percent.
On December 22 and January 27, YouGov held Labour were four points ahead of the Tories while the party leader isolated.
Despite the Tories enjoying a healthy lead in the polls during the summer, on July 21 Labour were only four points behind.
The latest poll from YouGov on November 4, which surveyed 1,699 Britons, saw Labour on 35 percent and the Tories on 36 percent.
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Matt Chorley, Times journalist and broadcaster, said in his article: “There is only one lesson to take from this. Cancel the wi-fi. Cut up his sim.
“Starmer must not be let out of the house.
“This is cross-party advice. Most Conservatives would benefit from a spell out of sight, out of mind after the full-time food lobbyist Owen Paterson announced he will no longer be doing his bit of MP work on the side.
“They must be saved from themselves, to stop them voting for things just because Boris Johnson told them to, and then being surprised that he has commitment issues.”
It comes as Sir Keir blasted Boris Johnson and the Tories for initially voting to overhaul the disciplinary process after Owen Paterson committed an “egregious” breach of lobbying rules.
The former North Shropshire MP was handed a 30-day suspension after a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards that found that he had broken paid advocacy rules.
Despite voting 250-232 in favour of pausing Mr Paterson’s suspension and reforming the commons standards system, Mr Johnson U-turned a day later and the scrapped plans.
Writing for the i, Sir Keir said: “Our politics should be a beacon of what is good and what is possible.
“MPs are rightly held to a higher standard. When those standards aren’t met, we should have the courage to admit it.
“The British public can forgive mistakes – they can’t forgive arrogance and lies.”
However, Scott Crichton Styles, Senior lecturer in law at University of Aberdeen, said in The National Sir Keir will “miss an open goal” over the row.
He said: “Starmer has been a complete failure so far as Labour leader.
“Despite facing the complacent, incompetent clown that is BoJo, the Labour Party remain persistently behind in the polls.
“Starmer has been unable to develop attractive polices and he has all the charisma of a recorded message.
“Now it seems he also lacks both strategic political nous and personal modesty by insisting on certain Labour defeat rather than allowing a possible independent victory.
“It seems Starmer would prefer his own team miss an open goal rather than let someone else score one!”