Fri. Apr 23rd, 2021


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Hancock humiliates Jon Ashworth over COVID tracing ‘scandal’ – ‘Can’t have it both ways’

3 min read

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Matt Hancock defended Deloitte selling contact tracing services to local UK health officials after shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth claimed it was an “utter scandal” Deloitte was selling information to local councils as a “business opportunity”. Mr Ashworth said: “Today we’ve learnt that Deloitte, who are contracted by the Government to help run Test and Trace, are now trying to sell contract tracing services to local councils.

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“So the Government’s own contractor, one of the very firms responsible for the failing system in the first place, now sees a business opportunity in selling information and services to local authorities. They should be getting this anyway, and this is in the middle of the biggest public health crisis for 100 years.

“Isn’t this an utter scandal? How can it be allowed?”

Mr Hancock replied: “He asks about Deloitte and their contact tracing capability.

“Deloitte have done an incredible job in helping us put together the contact tracing and the backward contact tracing that we have.

“Of course, they should also offer their services to local councils too.

“On the one hand, he says local councils should have more impetus and more involvement in the contact tracing.

“And when a company with great experience in contact tracing comes forward to offer their services, he criticises them.

“He can’t have it both ways!

Of course, these services cost money and they have to be delivered and I pay tribute to Deloitte who are doing such a brilliant job.”

Mr Hancock also assured MPs that there are enough flu jabs for people in need of them.

Asked by Mr Ashworth about the level of supplies, Mr Hancock said: “It is absolutely true as he says that there is a record roll-out of flu jabs.

“There are enough flu jabs for everybody who needs them in a priority group.

“I would stress that this is a roll-out, nobody needs to have a flu jab before the start of December, you can have it in September or October, it will then cover you for the winter, and so we are rolling it out and more appointments will become available in good time.

“We’ve got 30 million jabs in total, that is more than we’ve ever had before, it is almost double what we have typically had in the past and those are available.”

Jonathan Ashworth questioned why areas with greater restrictions have not come out of local lockdowns.

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Mr Ashworth told MPs: “Also, some of the heaviest increase in infections appear to be taking place in areas where restrictions are in place.

“So why are the interventions not working? Why are the moles not getting whacked?”

Matt Hancock replied: “It is true that some parts of the country have come through a local lockdown.

“In fact, we’ve lifted many of the measures, for instance, that were in place in Leicester.

“We weren’t able to lift all of the measures and the case rate there did go back up again, although it has now appears to have stabilised.”

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