Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading parliament over claims that no country has a functioning track-and-trace app, with one Labour MP calling his comments ‘rubbish’.
Johnson made the statement while announcing the easing of lockdown measures in England, which included the relaxing of the two metre social distance rule.
Taking questions from the leader of the opposition, Johnson defended his government decision to scrap its own in-house app in favour of one designed by Apple and Google, claiming that ‘no country currently has a functioning track and trace app’.
One Labour MP, however, challenged the prime minister, accusing him of ‘talking rubbish’ on Twitter.
‘Guess what?’, Chris Bryant wrote. ‘Boris Johnson was talking rubbish. Lots of countries have tracking apps.’
The MP for Rhondda shared a link that showed citizens in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, Switzerland, Iceland, and South Korea could access tracing systems on their phones.
Last week, Germany also launched its own version, which was downloaded almost 10 million times.
Downing Street recently ditched plans to use a centralised tracing programme after trials on the Isle of Wight found it did not work unless the app remained in the foreground of a user’s device.
Commenting on the efforts of NHS trackers, Johnson said: ‘The great success of NHS test and trace is that contrary to some of the scepticism that we heard – it is so far not only contacted 87,000 people who have been in contact with those who have coronavirus, but they have elected voluntary to self-isolate and stop the disease from spreading in the community.’
He added: ‘That is a fantastic success by our NHS test and trace operating and we will continue to improve and develop that test and trace operation so to crack down on local outbreaks and enable our country to go forward.’