Boris Johnson was accused of either dodging questions or giving “dodgy answers” as he came under fire over the government’s coronavirus (Covid-19) contact tracing app.
Labour leader Keir Starmer clashed with Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions over England’s readiness to ease lockdown restrictions.
Instead of answering a question about a working track and trace app, Johnson responded by urging Starmer to press Labour councils to encourage children to return to school.
Some £11.8 million was spent by the Government on developing its own NHSX app before it was ditched. It is now examining software created by Apple and Google to build one.
Starmer warned that the economy cannot be reopened without a successful track and trace system stating:
The prime minister risks making the mistakes he made at the beginning of the pandemic, brushing aside challenge, dashing forward, not estimating properly the risks.”
Up until last week, the Government maintained that the app was critical, another of their slides (at the daily briefing). But at the weekend (health secretary Matt Hancock) downplayed the app, saying it was only ever additional support. So which is it – critical or not?”
I wonder whether (Starmer) can name a single country in the world that has a functional contact tracing app? Because there isn’t one.”
Starmer countered: “Germany – 12 million downloads. I checked that overnight.”
The Labour leader also highlighted how two previous answers from the PM about a decrease in absolute child poverty and relative child poverty were judged “mostly false” by the office of the Children’s Commissioner for England.
He said another claim from the PM about fewer families living in poverty was also deemed “false”. Starmer stated:
He’s been found out. He either dodges the question or he gives dodgy answers.
No more witnesses, I rest my case.
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