In the most recent PMQs, held in accordance with current social distancing measures at the Commons yesterday afternoon, Sir Keir Starmer accused the prime minister of ignoring his offer for help, issued over two weeks ago.
Sir Keir informed those in the chamber that he had written to Boris Johnson a fortnight ago in a private capacity promising his help to further public support for sending children back to school. He continued that he had not received a response.
Johnson defended his apparent lack of response, stating that he "took the trouble to ring" Sir Keir in order to inform him of changes made to the lockdown measures. In his opinion, the Labour leader’s "endless attacks" on the government were only serving to damage "public trust and confidence”.
Downing Street confirmed that the pair had spoken on 28 May, while in a conference call with other opposition leaders. However, according to Labour sources, Sir Keir had not had a one-on-one discussion with Johnson for over a month.
At PMQs, the Labour Leader said: "I have supported the government openly and I've taken criticism for it, but, boy, he makes it difficult to support this government over the last two weeks."
He continued, highlighting the wide variation in school attendance at the newly reopened English schools, with head teachers reporting attendance ranging between 40 and 70 per cent.
Johnson said that Sir Keir would be “on firmer ground when he stands with the overwhelming majority of the British people who understand the very, very difficult circumstances that we are in.”