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Welsh Tory MP accuses UK Gov of ‘misusing’ Covid-19 test figures

27 Apr 2021 2 minute read
David Jones MP. Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

A Welsh Tory MP has accused the UK Government of misusing Covid-19 test figures.

David Jones, who represents the constituency of Clwyd West, made the accusation in the House of Commons during a debate about a committee report into government transparency and accountability during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He cites the example of the UK Government reaching the target of 100,000 tests per day by “double counting”.

The former Welsh Secretary suggests that this has been done “seemingly” for “political purposes”.

He said: “The report rightly concentrates on and highlights the importance of transparency of data. In any democracy whose citizens are being asked, indeed instructed, to give up a large number of their inherent freedoms to keep their fellow citizens safe, it must be essential that the rationale for such instructions is readily available and understandable.

“That is only achievable through access to the data that underpin, or are claimed to underpin, the decisions the Government are making.

“Furthermore, citizens need to be assured that in making those decisions the Government are using the available data for the right reasons and in the right manner.

“In this context, the Government have rightly been criticised for the way certain elements of data were used, or indeed misused.

“Evidence to the inquiry suggested that on occasions such tinkering with the figures had seemingly been done for political purposes.

“The Committee heard, for example, that the target of achieving 100,000 tests per day was met by adding tests that had been sent out to tests completed—in other words, double counting.

“Whether that was a genuine error or politically motivated, it cannot be acceptable.”

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