Keir Starmer has been forced to self-isolate for a second time after a staff member in his private office tested positive for coronavirus. The Labour leader said he was advised to self-isolate this afternoon, and confirmed he was not displaying any symptoms.
“I’m pleased to say my colleague is feeling OK,” he tweeted. “I’m not showing any symptoms. But will now be working from home. Keep safe and follow the public health advice.”
The staff member in question has not been named, and it is unclear when they contracted the virus or when Starmer last came into contact with them. The Labour List editor, Sienna Rodgers, said she understood the party leader had last come into contact with them on Tuesday.
Starmer previously self-isolated in mid-September when a member of his household showed possible symptoms of the virus. He did not experience any symptoms.
In a statement at the time, a spokesperson said Starmer had self-isolated in line with NHS guidelines “while awaiting the results of the test and further advice from medical professionals”. It was unclear which member of Starmer’s household has been experiencing symptoms, but he has two children of school age.
The isolation period meant he was forced to miss a crucial Brexit debate in the House of Commons over the government’s internal market bill.
The UK recorded 15,539 new cases of coronavirus and 397 new deaths on Saturday. There are currently 14,556 people in hospital with Covid-19 across the UK.
The virus has claimed more than 60,000 British lives, the fifth highest death toll in the world.