Jeremy Corbyn stony-faced as Boris Johnson tells him to stay home in ‘retirement’ jibe

Addressing the House of Commons as he took questions on the latest coronavirus update, Boris Johnson was confronted by Jeremy Corbyn on the delay in announcing a total lockdown of the nation to prevent the spreading of the deadly virus. But the Prime Minister subtly invited Mr Corbyn to stay at home as he joked about his retirement. He said: “We will do whatever it takes to get our country through it together.

“We will beat it together but the most important advice I can give him, as he retires…

“Oh, he’s not retiring. That would be warmly welcomed by his successor!”

He continued: “The most important thing we can all do is stay at home to protect our NHS and to save many thousands of lives.”

Mr Corbyn asked about the safety of cleaners, who he said were often a “forgotten group” in society.

He also called for clarity on why the Government had not sought to buy testing kits earlier, after a leaked letter showed the PM had written to UK laboratories on Sunday.

Mr Johnson said: “I agree with him very much on what he said about cleaners.

“They are doing an extraordinary job and they deserve all the protection and support we can give them in this difficult time.

“And on testing, he is quite right that testing is vital in our success at beating the coronavirus and, as the Health Secretary has said many times, we are massively increasing our testing campaign, going up from 5,000 to 10,000 to 25,000 a day.

“In answer directly to his question, this has been a priority for the Government ever since the crisis was obviously upon us – for weeks and weeks.”

Boris Johnson has said the more that Britons conform to Government measures to tackle coronavirus, the faster the UK will get on top of the virus.

Conservative MP Adam Afriyie (Windsor) said: “Can I ask the Prime Minister, will he confirm that he will lift any of these measures imposed at the earliest possible opportunity once he knows that our nation is safe?”

The Prime Minister responded: “Yes of course and we keep them under constant review and the more the whole country is able to work together to conform with those stipulations, the faster we’ll get on top of it, the faster we’ll come out of it.”

Under pressure to set out support for the self-employed, Boris Johnson said: “I cannot in all candour promise the House that we will be able to get through this crisis without any kind of hardship at all.”

The Prime Minister told MPs: “We will do whatever we can to support the self-employed, just as we are putting our arms around every single employed person in this country.”

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