Boris Johnson told the Commons he is “proud” of the Government’s record on coronavirus amid a row with Keir Starmer during Prime Minister’s Questions.
The PM told MPs that he takes “full responsibility for what this Government has been doing in tackling coronavirus” during a heated debate, adding that he is “very proud of our record”.
“If you look at what we have achieved so far, it is very considerable”, he went on to say.
“We have protected the NHS, we have driven down the death rate, we are now seeing far fewer hospital admissions, and I believe that the public understand that, with good British common sense, we will continue to defeat this virus and take this country forward.”
But people have been quick to point out that the government’s coronavirus record is less than enviable.
Britain now has the worst death toll in Europe and the second highest in the world, with the ONS revealing only this week that there has been almost 62,000 deaths above what would normally be expected in the UK.
What’s more they have unveiled a track and trace program that doesn’t work, something “not even North Korea would do”, Mark Thomas wrote here.
And as for ‘protecting the NHS’, there were multiple failures over Personal Protective Equipment that has led to more than 200 deaths in the health service.
Taking back control
The PM also fielded questions on him ‘taking back control‘ of the coronavirus response.
Starmer asked Johnson directly at prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons: “The Telegraph is reporting that the prime minister has decided to take direct control of the government’s response to the virus. So, an obvious question for the prime minister – Who has been in direct control up until now?”
The exchange came as the Labour leader called on the PM to “get a grip” on the coronavirus crisis to prevent a second wave of infections, accusing the government of “winging it” on issues like testing and the easing of lockdown.