Matt Hancock says Dido Harding 'needs our thanks' over Test and Trace scheme
- Credit: Global
Health secretary Matt Hancock has insisted the leaders of the Test and Trace scheme 'needs our thanks' after it was put to him that Baroness Dido Harding should lose her job leading the initiative.
Hancock was asked whether Harding should remain in the job after senior Tory MP Bernard Jenkin called for her to be removed.
The latest official figures showed fewer than 60% of the contacts of people testing positive for Covid-19 were being traced and told to self-isolate.
Boris Johnson is said to have "full confidence" in Harding, with Hancock going further saying that the leaders of the scheme "need our thanks".
The health secretary said he "of course" has confidence in the Baroness "because yesterday we delivered a third of a million tests."
But presenter Nick Ferrari pointed out that it was quality, not quantity that mattered.
"Last week was worse than the week before," said Ferrari, before Hancock tried to deny the numbers.
- 1 Leave EU website suspended after EU registry blocks move to Ireland
- 2 Comedian wins praise after shaming No 10 during Dancing on Ice appearance
- 3 Boris Johnson blames seafood companies for post-Brexit sales slump
- 4 Television drama to focus on Boris Johnson's first year in Downing Street
- 5 Progressive alliance could see Labour win 351 seats at next election, new analysis reveals
- 6 Michael Gove among 14 Tory MPs revealed to have joined banned Parler app
- 7 Boris Johnson claims Labour supporters using Universal Credit vote to incite hatred
- 8 Priti Patel fails to appear in Commons to answer questions on missing police records
- 9 UK has highest Covid-19 death rate in world
- 10 The Tory MPs who failed to vote against a Universal Credit cut
Hancock explained: "This system, which is over the size of Tesco, has been built over the last six months".
But the presenter pointed out if Tesco had achieved such low levels of success "it would no longer be with us".
Defending the government scheme, Hancock continued: "We're constantly every single day making improvements to it. I think the leadership of Test and Trace need our thanks...the number of people they've managed to contact in the last fortnight is double what it was the fortnight before. It's the extraordinary growth of a really really important service."
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.