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Labour’s Vaccine Passport Flip-Flopping Continues

Labour’s Vaccine Passport Flip-Flopping Continues

As the government presses ahead with plans to introduce ‘Covid status certificates’ (AKA Covid passports) for domestic activities this summer, Labour is now scrambling to form a coherent position on the proposal and whether to back it in a parliamentary vote. Speaking on the Today Programme this morning, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said:

“We’ll need to be convinced. I cannot support a system where you have to present your vaccination ID card in order to get into H&M or Next […] I can understand why, for the FA Cup semi-final […] you’d want to test people before they go into an event like that.” 

Ashworth even went so far as to call the plans ‘discriminatory‘ on BBC Breakfast – surely, one would think, a clear sign that Labour plans to oppose the measures…

Yet two weeks ago on Politics Live (17 March), when asked whether she supported vaccine passports, shadow minister for sport Alison McGovern wasted little time in affirming her support, offering an unambiguous “yes” to the idea.

Likewise on The Andrew Marr Show last week, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford saidthere are positive prizes to be won from having a successful vaccine certification scheme’ and that he was prepared to participate ‘on a four-nation basis‘. Hardly discriminatory then…

Labour sources speaking to The Guardian added further to the confusion last night, saying although ‘there isn’t really a consensus yet‘, they would still ultimately end up supporting the scheme ‘but probably not make much of a song and dance about it’. No wonder Starmer’s team was reportedly ‘really angry’ that The Telegraph had inconvenienced the Labour leader by headlining his own criticisms of the scheme…


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