Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for a national lockdown "within 24 hours" amid rising coronavirus cases.

He says the closure of more schools is inevitable with the virus "clearly out of control" and national restrictions would be the "next step" in controlling Covid-19.

Sir Keir urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to delay making further restrictions.

He said: "The virus is clearly out of control.

"And there's no good the Prime Minister hinting that further restrictions are coming into place in a week, or two or three.

"That delay has been the source of so many problems.

"So, I say bring in those restrictions now, national restrictions, within the next 24 hours. That has to be the first step towards controlling the virus."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for a national lockdown "within 24 hours"

The Labour leader's comments come as another 54,990 people tested positive for coronavirus, the sixth day in a row when new daily cases have exceeded 50,000.

A further 454 people have died from Covid-19.

Earlier on Sunday Mr Johnson warned of possible tougher restrictions on the horizon.

He said: "It may be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that may be tougher.

There are fears coronavirus is going to overwhelm the NHS

"I'm fully reconciled to that. I think the whole country is fully reconciled to that."

Several councils have written to the Education Secretary asking for schools in their area to stay closed following closures in London, but the Prime Minister is urging parents to send their children to primary schools on Monday.

Some schools in areas where the mutant new variant is more prevalent will not open.

But the National Education Union (NEU) has said all schools should stay closed for two weeks to "break the chain" of transmission and prevent the NHS becoming "overwhelmed".

Sir Keir said: "It is inevitable that more schools are going to have to close and the government needs to plan for children's learning but also working parents."