Matt Hancock denies Dominic Cummings row will undermine message

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Matt Hancock has denied that the government’s backing of Dominic Cummings will undermine the plea for the public to adhere to the new test and trace policy.

talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer asked the Health Secretary if keeping Mr Cummings as Boris Johnson’s chief adviser after he allegedly broke lockdown rules would make people less likely to follow guidelines.

Mr Hancock responded: “No, I think the vast majority of people will do as instructed by the NHS under this new test and trace system and I think that’s a good thing.

“We could have brought it in on a mandatory basis, we’ve chosen to bring it in without that legal mandation because all of our research in advance of launching it is that the vast majority of people will do as they’re instructed by the NHS.”

NHS test and trace was launched this morning at 9am. It works by firstly testing those with symptoms.

If they test positive, they work with an NHS clinician to identify where they may have passed on the virus and who else may have been infected - those identified are then told to isolate even if they do not have symptoms.

But shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth criticised the support of Mr Cummings as he urged people to abide by the new system.

“I hope people, even though it’s frustrating that it’s one rule for Mr Cummings and another for the rest of us, do cooperate with this because it’s in all our interests that this works,” he told Julia.

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