OXFORD East MP Anneliese Dodds was accused of ‘sitting on the fence’ in a heated live TV interview about whether the Government was making the right call to ease lockdown measures.

On the BBC Andrew Marr show this morning, the Shadow Chancellor was asked to take a stance on whether Labour would do the same thing.

It comes after concern about the Government sending children back to school today and giving the green light for groups of six people to meet up in gardens.

In a tense interview, Mr Marr urged Labour to have a ‘view’ saying that people ‘need to know what the party would do’.

He said: “You haven’t come off the fence and said whether you’re in favour of the unlocking or not in favour of the unlocking – that’s all I’m asking.”

But Ms Dodds fired back: “There is a balance of risk here and I think anybody would appreciate that. You know the Government has taken that decision and the opposition can’t take that decision because we don’t have the scientific advice in front of us.”

Mr Marr referred to a statement made by the new Labour leader Kier Starmer on Friday that said a gradual easing of the lockdown would only be supported if a set of conditions were met beforehand.

He said: “250,000 tests per day – that’s not happening. 50,000 contract tracers – that’s not happening. National phone app by June 1 – we certainly haven’t got that. All Covid tests to be received within 24 hours – and that is still not happening.

“So given your own tests, it seems to be that Labour must oppose unlocking.”

But Ms Dodds said: “The Government has taken that decision already. As I’ve said, that is not a decision for the opposition to be taking.

Read more: Labour concerns over pupils going back to school

“What we really need to do now is have our Government to have a grip on fundamental issues that are putting risk into this process.

“Now test, track and isolate is fundamental because unless that works, we won’t know where the disease is, we won’t be able to shut it down in localised areas and we could see the reposition of lockdown.

Witney Gazette:

"As you would expect as Shadow Chancellor, I’m very, very concerned about what could happen to our economy if that happens, as well as the health impact.”

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Viewers were quick to note the confused Labour position on Twitter, with one person saying: “Anneliese Dodds was incredibly weak on Marr, refusing to take any political positions, or stand by the teachers and their unions. I would like the official opposition to oppose the Government. I would also like the party called ‘Labour’ to stand up for labour.”