Watch: Boris Johnson told to thank Welsh Gov for bailing out England with Covid tests
Boris Johnson has been told to thank the Welsh Government for bailing out England with Covid-19 tests.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader in Westminster, made the suggestion as she ripped into the UK Government’s record on testing in the House of Commons.
She said Johnson’s government has been “asleep at the wheel”, which has resulted in a total “shambles” in England.
Rayner also praised the Welsh Government for having “the foresight to plan ahead and secure enough tests for this period”.
Last week, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford announced that Wales would loan four million Lateral Flow Tests to England amid an acute shortage there.
It came after UK pharmacies and scientists warned that the lack of LFT tests in England was becoming a “huge” problem, as they were being requested every five minutes to deal with the surge in Omicron cases.
Angela Rayner – "I'm sure the Prime Minister will join me in thanking the Welsh Labour government for sharing 4 million tests with England. Thank goodness they had the foresight to plan ahead & secure enough tests for this period" 🔥 pic.twitter.com/BxDd9GzFeO
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) January 5, 2022
‘Getting testing right’
Angela Rayner said: “Getting testing right remains the best way to avoid further restrictions. It is welcome that the Government are requiring daily testing to protect critical national infrastructure, but that will not begin until next week.
“Our essential services are buckling under the pressure now. Doctors, nurses, carers, teachers and pupils cannot get the tests they need now to do two tests a week.
“Emergency workers are reportedly stuck in isolation because they cannot get their hands on a test. So why did the Health Secretary claim on 13 December that there is ‘no shortage’ of actual tests? Why was the Government’s delivery service allowed to go on holiday over Christmas with no contingency plan in place?
“The Government have been asleep at the wheel, and the result is total shambles. I am sure the Prime Minister will join me in thanking the Welsh Labour Government for sharing 4 million tests with England.
“Thank goodness that they had the foresight to plan ahead and secure enough tests for this period.
“In April 2020, the Government published a strategy to scale up the covid-19 testing programme. They promised to work with the UK’s world-leading diagnostics companies to build a British diagnostics industry at scale, yet two years on, this has never materialised.
“How much taxpayers’ money was spent on this programme and why, Prime Minister, two years into the pandemic, are we still reliant on tests from China, instead of building the capacity to make the tests here in Britain?”
Boris Johnson replied with: “That is rubbish”.