Hancock Won’t Resign if New 100,000 Test Target Isn’t Met

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning, Matt Hancock refused to commit to resigning if he fails to meet his new ambitious target of 100,000 Coronavirus tests per day by the end of the April – Nigel Farage was first out of the blocks yesterday calling for his resignation. Jon Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, who is having a good crisis and is sure to keep his job in Starmer’s team, reminds us that “a few weeks ago Boris Johnson was promising 250,000 a day.. It has taken us weeks to get to 10,000 tests today, and we still have no details of what proportion of this 100,000 will be PCR tests or antibody tests.” The newly-Coronavirus-free Health Secretary mostly won plaudits after leading yesterday’s daily briefing where he had praise heaped on him from the Guardian to the Daily Mail. Only two days ago they were calling the Government a shambles…

His media round this morning hasn’t done much to inspire confidence, however; when asked by BBC Breakfast whether 100,000 tests a day is going to happen, Hancock replied: “Yes, it’s got to happen”. Pressed again whether it’s “going” to happen, Hancock could only say “I’ve got a plan to get us there. I’ve set it as a goal.”. He did win sympathy for explaining he’s lost half a stone over the last week due to the virus…

The other big announcement from Hancock’s press conference – the wiping of £13.4 billion of historic NHS Trust debts – is also not as it first seems, as back in January the Health Service Journal revealed plans were being discussed to wipe Trust debt – nothing to do with the Coronavirus outbreak. At least the Government can look forward to the opening of the Nightingale Hospital this morning for a definitive piece of good news…

mdi-tag-outline Coronavirus
mdi-account-multiple-outline Jon Ashworth Matt Hancock
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