THE media is doing a better job than the Labour Party at holding Westminster to account over the coronavirus crisis, according to a new poll.

Keir Starmer won the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as the head of the UK's official opposition at the start of April.

But respondents to an online survey by respected pollsters Ipsos MORI said he's been less effective than journalists during the pandemic.

Fewer than one in five people in the UK-wide research agreed the Labour Party has done a good job at holding the government to account so far.

The figure was higher for Starmer himself - 24% compared to 18% for the party - and even those who voted Labour at December's snap general election didn't rate the party's performance in large numbers.

READ MORE: SNP MP calls for investigation into Scotland Office press release

Only one-third of this group say it has done a good job on the issue.

Those highest rated on their ability to hold the UK Government to account were journalists at its daily Covid-19 briefings (43%) and TV and radio reporters (40%).

Ex-newspaper editor Piers Morgan, co-presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme, is seen as being an effective check on the government by 29%.

However, 24% disagree he's doing a good job and 28% weren't sure either way.

Ipsos MORI said the Labour figures "may reflect that Keir Starmer is still something of an unknown entity with the general public so far".

That's because most of those questions told them they "do not have an opinion either way" on his performance. As many as 34% said he is neither doing a good job nor a bad job and 23% said they just don’t know.

Ben Page, Ipsos MORI chief executive officer, commented: "Despite recent controversy about journalists challenging government spokespeople, by 43% to 28% the public say they are doing a good job in holding the government to account.

"They do rather better than the official opposition, highlighting the challenge Keir Starmer has in connecting with the public during the crisis.”