Head of NHS Test and Trace Baroness Dido Harding told to self-isolate

18 November 2020, 09:14 | Updated: 18 November 2020, 09:53

Baroness Dido Harding has been told to self-isolate
Baroness Dido Harding has been told to self-isolate. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Baroness Dido Harding, the head of NHS Test and Trace, says she has been told by the app to self-isolate.

She tweeted a screenshot of her self-isolation notification on Wednesday which said she would need to self-isolate until midnight on November 26 - nine days away.

In a tweet, Baroness Harding wrote: "Nothing like personal experience of your own products ....got this overnight. Feeling well. Many hours of Zoom ahead."

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Her husband, Tory MP John Penrose, has previously been told to self-isolate by the Test and Trace app after potentially coming into contact with someone who has coronavirus.

Baroness Harding, former chief executive of TalkTalk, was appointed in May to lead the contact tracing programme, which relies on identifying people who have been in contact with a positive coronavirus case and getting them to self-isolate.

Since then, the programme has faced questions about performance and value for money.

She became a peer in August 2014 and has sat on the Economic Affairs Committee of the Lords since July 2017.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently self-isolating after attending a breakfast meeting with MP Lee Anderson, who later tested positive for coronavirus.

He has tested negative for the virus and will answer Prime Minister's Questions remotely on Wednesday.

Ten Tory MPs are also self-isolating after last week's meeting, including Andy Carter, Nia Lici, Brendan Clarke-Smith and Katherine Fletcher.

Further Tory MPs who were either at the meeting or crossed Mr Anderson's path in Parliament are also isolating: Jacob Young, Maria Miller, Chris Clarkson, Matt Vickers and Kieran Mullan.

The meeting is thought to have lasted about 35 minutes, but attendees did not appear to be wearing face coverings and did not appear to be two metres apart in a photos taken at Downing Street which were posted on social media.

Questions are being raised about why the PM met with the MP in-person, maskless, for breakfast when the meeting likely could have taken place over a video conference.

The PM's official spokesman insisted at a briefing for Westminster journalists on Monday afternoon that social distancing measures were “observed” and that No 10 was a "Covid-secure workplace".