Good morning. Today was meant to be the first full day of the Labour party conference in Liverpool. Now it has been reduced to what effectively sounds like a prolonged Zoom call but some conference fixtures remain. There will be major speeches from the leading figures in the shadow cabinet, the Sunday papers are more Labour-heavy than usual and Sir Keir Starmer is doing a series of broadcast interviews this morning.
Of course, the coronavirus crisis dominates everything. Overnight Starmer has called on the government to prioritise children for testing. In a statement he said:
If the prime minister does not get a grip of the testing crisis, children will be robbed of an education. We are seeing a growing flood of schools closures.
The testing regime is not working, nor does it appreciate the unique challenges many families are having to cope with.
That is why I’m urging the prime minister, like our key workers, to put children at the front of the queue for testing. To this week give parents a cast iron guarantee that they can get their child a test within 24 hours and the result back 24 hours later.
In response, the Conservatives issued this statement from their co-chairman, Amanda Milling. She said:
We urge Sir Keir to set aside the political point scoring and work with the government to control the virus and protect lives based on clinical advice.
Making sure that children who have coronavirus symptoms get a test is already a priority for NHS Test and Trace. This helps reassure parents and protect teachers and children and keep schools open.
A lot of parents who were trying unsuccessfully to get tests for their children last week may be surprised to learn that they were being prioritised. But no doubt we will hear more on this soon from Matt Hancock, the health secretary, who is also giving interviews this morning.
Here is the agenda for the day.
8.30am: Sir Keir Starmer is interviewed on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, and Len McCluskey, the Unite general secretary are also on the programme.
9am: Starmer and Hancock are also interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
10am: Labour’s online conference, Labour Connected, starts. The opening remarks will be broadcast here, but most events are from members only.
10am: Starmer and Hancock are also interviewed on Times Radio.
11am: Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, speaks at the Labour conference.
Here is our global coronavirus live blog.
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