Tories under fire after urging supporters to apply for coronavirus tests to help hit target
- Credit: Archant
The government has been accused misusing mailing lists to urge people to get a coronavirus test to help hit their target.
The email - circulating on Twitter - was sent out to a Conservative party mailing list on Wednesday urging people who feared they had the coronavirus to get tested.
In it, Matt Hancock advises of a testing ramp-up and encourages over 65s and anyone who has to travel to work, including those in the household, to apply for a swab.
You may also want to watch:
Jim Waterson, a Guardian journalist, posted his copy on Twitter, writing: 'Conservative party mailing list being used to try to hit the 100,000/day testing target.'
- 1 Tory MP blames 'chaotic parents' for children going to school hungry
- 2 Boris Johnson 'hid in bedroom' to avoid grilling on Brexit stance days before becoming PM
- 3 Danny Dyer praised for criticisms of Tory party - pointing out Etonians can't run the country
- 4 George Osborne says it is 'game over' for Boris Johnson over free school meals
- 5 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
- 6 Liz Truss' department slammed for false claim about cost of soy sauce after Brexit
- 7 Andy Burnham could have been 'halfway through tenure as PM by now', claims commentator
- 8 Minister sparks concerns about pig semen after Brexit
- 9 Minister says he 'doesn't understand' accusation he's starving kids in holidays
- 10 Brexiteer in lockdown denial over 49% drop in constituency Covid-19 cases
Users were less than impressed. POLITICO's technology correspondent Mark Scott suggested the ploy was illegal: 'According to the law, they need people's consent when they reuse mailing lists for purposes that were not the reason why people handed over their emails in the first place.'
Under new EU data laws, mailing lists can not be reused for different purpose without first informing recipients.
Others were more critical. Daily Mirror associate editor, Kevin Maguire, tweeted: 'Desperate. Party political game to save a health secretary's face at the public expense and possibly tests for people who need them.'
Michael Brownhill commented: 'It's not about the health of the people it's about Hancock's embarrassment!'
Some have backed the move, calling on Labour to follow suit. Kevin Hawkins said: 'Surly the Labour Party and all other parties should be doing the same to allow the message to reach the maximum population, to my mind it's you that's playing party politics by criticising this.'
The government is trying to hit a target of 100,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of April. On Tuesday, Matt Hancock extended who could access the test adding all care homes workers and residents were now eligible.
So far, capacity stands at 73,400 while 43,453 tests were carried out on Monday. The government expects to reach its testing goals by early May.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.