Labour Leader Keir Starmer tested positive for Covid-19 earlier today and cannot respond to the budget or to the prime minister’s questions.
The result came less than an hour before Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to deliver the Autumn Budget to the House of Commons, leaving Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, to respond in Starmer’s place.
Shadow business secretary and Labour ex-leader Ed Miliband took the prime minister’s questions as Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, remains on bereavement leave.
In Starmer’s place, Miliband criticized the government for cutting overseas aid and not delivering on the $100 billion of climate finance for poorer nations ahead of the critical climate summit promised more than a decade ago, saying: “it made it much harder to deliver on this promise when we are the only G7 country to cut the aid budget in the run-up to this crucial summit.”
On Tuesday, the House of Commons mandated face coverings while on the parliamentary estate for everyone except MPs due to rising Covid cases.
This marks Starmer’s fourth spell of self-isolation after having to quarantine after one of his children tested positive for Covid-19 in July.