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Labour Party apologises after shadow education secretary 'calls COVID-19 a good crisis'

Ross McGuinness
·2-min read
File photo dated 05/09/18 of Kate Green MP as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has appointed her as his new shadow education secretary following Rebecca Long-Bailey's dramatic sacking this week.
Shadow education secretary Kate Green reportedly called the coronavirus pandemic a 'good crisis'. (PA)

The Labour Party has been forced to apologise after one of its MPs reportedly called coronavirus a “good crisis”.

Shadow education secretary Kate Green made the comments during a Labour Connected event on Sunday, The Sun reported.

The newspaper quoted her as saying: “I think we should use the opportunity… don’t let a good crisis go to waste.

“We can really see now what happens when you under-resource schools, when you under-resource families and communities.”

On Tuesday, shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy told BBC’s Politics Live: "I am sorry that we’ve given the impression through that, that somehow this is a good thing.

"This is a terrible thing for the country.”

She said Green would be “the first person to accept” that what she had said was “really badly expressed”.

Earlier, speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Nandy said Green is “really upset about the way that that came across”.

Nandy added: “Let me apologise for the way that that’s come across as well, because nobody thinks there’s anything good about this crisis.”

Watch: These were some of the most important moments of the COVID-19 briefing

Another 4,368 new daily cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK on Monday, with 11 deaths.

On Monday, the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the number of new daily cases will reach 50,000 by mid-October if no action is taken.

The Conservatives accused Labour of “playing party politics” with the coronavirus pandemic.

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Ms Green to apologise and “stamp out this petty party politics point-scoring”.

DUDLEY, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan takes part in the last Labour Party Leadership hustings at Dudley Town Hall on March 08, 2020 in Dudley, England. Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy are vying to replace Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is stepping down following his party's loss in the December 2019 general election. The new leader and deputy will be announced on 4 April, 2020.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy apologised for her colleague's reported comments. (Getty)

He tweeted: “That is the reality of the Labour Party. The mask slips. Playing party politics with Covid19.

“Don’t let a good crisis go to waste” is what they think and now admit.”

Conservative Party co-chair Amanda Milling said: “It’s disappointing a member of Sir Keir’s top team has called the pandemic a ‘good crisis’ to exploit.

“Labour shouldn’t be playing politics with people’s lives, they should be acting in the national interest.”

Watch: How is coronavirus treated?

Coronavirus: what happened today
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