Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence on Monday that no form of Covid Status Certification would be needed in the next few steps of the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown, some question marks still remained for the use of these so-called domestic passports beyond that. And keen to hear Labour’s stance on the topic, BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin put the Shadow Secretary for Health and Social Care, Jonathan Ashworth on the spot as to where his party stood on the topic.
However, when Mr Ashworth failed to give a clear answer, the BBC host wasted no time in taking action.
After Mr Ashworth had kicked off the interview slating the possible implementation of Covid passports from his own personal point of view, Minchin was eager to know if the rest of his party shared the view.
“So can you be clear then?” Minchin probed. “Would you vote against that type of thing? Would you vote against any form of domestic passport then?”
“Well, we don’t think that you being asked to produce a vaccination passport, which as I say is this digital ID card, is fair, it’s discriminatory,” Mr Ashworth replied.
READ MORE: Alex Salmond hits out at Kate Garraway over Nicola Sturgeon row
He continued: “There are certain instances, for example, Leicester City are playing Southampton in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley,
“That makes sense to make people take a test before going to that event in order to reduce the number of people going to that event who have the virus, it’s not 100 percent effective but it’s better than nothing.”
Mr Ashworth then continued to delve into the use of lateral flow tests which prompted Minchin to cut his answer off midway through as he failed to give a concrete answer on Labour’s stance.
“I just want to ask you that question again,” an irked Minchin butt in. “I want to get clarity from you.
“Will you vote against any form of domestic passport? Yes or no?”
Mr Ashworth attempted to clarify: “The problem is the government hasn’t actually produced legislation which highlights the details of how this is going to work.
“And last night when Boris Johnson was asked, he couldn’t explain his own policy.
“So, at the moment, we are unconvinced,” he added. “But it’s up to ministers to convince people they have a plan in a place for what they’re going to do.
“When we see details of their legislation, we will study it carefully,” Mr Ashworth concluded.
But again Minchin was dissatisfied with the answer as pushed for fourth clarity.
“So as it stands from what you know so far, it’s a no?” Minchin pushed further. “You won’t vote for one?”
Mr Ashworth eventually said he “wouldn’t support a policy” which could stop people entering a shop or restaurant, branding it “discriminatory”.
However, whether this will be reflected in Labour’s stance when and if a vote on the certifications rolls around remains to be seen.
With shops and outdoor hospitality set to open from Monday, April 12, however, Mr Johnson has made clear these certifications will not be needed.
In fact, the Prime Minister insisted they would also not potentially come into play until after the next step of the roadmap in May.
BBC Breakfast cotninuesdaily at 6am on BBC One.