The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion has urged the Prime Minister to hand the responsibility for coronavirus test and trace work over to local public health teams.
Caroline Lucas spoke out in Parliament yesterday (Monday 12 October) as Boris Johnson gave an update to the House of Commons about covid-19.
She said: “Today, we seem to have a partial admission of the failure of the government’s outsourced test and trace system.
“When so many of us have argued for so long that it should be in the hands of local public health teams, does the Prime Minister regret handing billions over to the private sector, which has failed so spectacularly?
“Will he now give this system back to local public health teams, who know their communities best, so that they can be responsible for test and trace in all areas, not just those with high numbers?
“Finally, will he stop saying that he has put his arms around the self-employed, when more than three million of them have had no support since March?”
Mr Johnson said: “I repeat the point that I have made about the self-employed. £13.5 billion has been given to support them – and where there is more we can do, we will obviously look at it.
“The honourable lady makes an interesting point about whether a local approach would have been better throughout this than a national approach.
“All the evidence is that we need both. That is what we have supplied and that is what we will continue to supply.
“That is why we are expanding our support for the local approach.
“The experience of other countries shows that we need a national approach because otherwise the local test and trace operations simply do not join up.
“Plenty of countries have had that experience and that is why we are taking an approach that joins up local test and trace with national test and trace.”
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