Jacob Rees-Mogg has today caused fury over his dismissal of the testing shambles. He told people to stop their ‘endless carping’ about a lack of coronavirus tests.
The Leader of the Commons claimed the testing system had been a ‘phenomenal success’ which should be celebrated.
Opposition parties immediately slammed Mr Rees-Mogg as ‘out of touch’ and demanded that he apologise.
The row started when Labour’s Valerie Vaz questioned why the head of the Government’s coronavirus Test and Trace programme, Dido Harding, had not spoken in public since August.
The shadow Commons leader added: ‘The number of tests returned within 24 hours has fallen from 68 per cent to 8 per cent – it seems to be all talk, talk and no test, test.’
Rees-Mogg responded by saying: ‘We all have an obligation to try and stop the dangerous disease spreading, but the issue of testing is one where we have gone from a disease that nobody knew about a few months ago to one where nearly a quarter of a million people a day can be tested.’
‘And the PM is expecting that to go up to half a million people a day by the end of October.’
Asked about the comments, a Downing Street spokesman said the PM was clear about the need to increase testing capacity.
Rees-Mogg is a controversial figure in British politics. Critics view him as a reactionary figure, and some of his positions having made him the target of organised protests. The Oxford educated father of 6 is MP for North-East Somerset.
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