Saturday, 24 Oct 2020

Commons erupts in fits of laughter as Matt Hancock mocks Labour MP’s COVID attack

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock addressed the House of Commons on Monday afternoon to answer questions on the Government’s coronavirus response. He addressed a blunder by the Government on coronavirus data that saw over 16,000 cases of coronavirus go unreported following a computer glitch. Labour’s Stella Creasy took aim at the Health Secretary for the Government’s failings resulting in a response that left Tory MP erupting in laughter.

Mr Hancock told the Labour MP the issue related to a system which was already being replaced. 

Ms Creasy said: “There was a problem with spreadsheets that the Health Secretary tells us the Government knew about in July.

“We paying £12billion to these companies to run this service and yet the Health Secretary has told us there is no penalty to these companies for poor performance.

“Who is going to get our money back and who is going to take responsibility?

“Can the Health Secretary tell us where the buck stops?”

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Mr Hancock said: “I have come to the House of Commons to be clear and transparent to the nation to the nature of this particular problem.

“I think it is wrong to be constantly picking on a small number of the many cogs in the wheel that we have of this system.

“As it happens this particular system was a PHE legacy system and although that doesn’t quite fit the honourable lady’s narrative, that is the fact of the matter in this case.”

Mr Hancock then praised her Ms Creasy for normally behaving reasonably and sensible, while noting that she was incorrect in this instance.

He said: “I like the honourable lady and me and her have worked together on issues in the past, including on issues like this.

“She is normally incredibly reasonable and sensible.

“I would be very happy to ensure she gets a full briefing on this one.

“Any further questions she has got I would be happy to answer.”

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Laughter can be heard from the Tory benches with one MP shouting out “that went well” following the Labour MP’s criticism.

During his speech, Mr Hancock argued the Government had been working tirelessly over the weekend to solve the coronavirus data error. 

He said that 51 percent of the people who had been missed due to the glitch and their contacts had now been alerted that they may have coronavirus and should isolate. 

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