Angela Rayner has called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to resign his post over the recent fiascos in the coronavirus test and trace system – and said he should “hang his head in shame”.
In a Good Morning Britain interview today, Labour’s deputy leader also suggested that Hancock was not “the only problem” and the whole government frontbench owes Britain “a massive big apology”.
Rayner told the programme: “This government have complete impunity. They break the law. The civil servants get sacked, but the politicians are quite alright these days.
“I mean it’s completely unbelievable, they’ve made us a laughing stock across the world. This used to be one of the democracies that everyone was proud of because of the laws we stuck to.”
Asked whether Hancock should resign, she said: “He’s a disgrace. The whole government are. The whole government should hang their heads in shame…
“I’d have got rid of him tomorrow, Piers. I believe that the whole lot of them, the whole lot of their frontbench, is an absolute disaster for this country.”
She added: “I think he should hang his head in shame but I don’t think he’s the only problem. I think the whole of the frontbench are a problem and they’ve not been truthful with the British people.
“They owe them a massive big apology for the thousands of excess deaths, for seeding the virus in our care homes, and by the way they are still taking people out, discharging people from hospital, not knowing if they are Covid positive or not.”
The shadow cabinet member and former care worker herself concluded: “Still to this day, they don’t care about our elderly relatives who are in care homes. They’re a disgrace.”
'I think he should hang his head in shame.'
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) October 6, 2020
Rayner was being interviewed after over 15,000 coronavirus cases went unpublished in the government’s daily reports. They were not passed onto contact tracers last week due to what the Prime Minister called a “computing issue”.
The backlog of infections, which was left out of Public Health England’s daily figures, meant as many as 48,000 people who had been near someone positive for Covid were not contacted and told to self-isolate.
The glitch led to a staggering 22,961 new cases being published on Sunday after 12,872 were previously announced on Saturday. Various scientists have warned that these delays could impair efforts to monitor the spread of Covid.