Matt Hancock shot himself in foot by over-promising on Test and Trace, caller says

5 October 2020, 16:15

By Sam Sholli

Matt Hancock's failure to "under-promise" on coronavirus testing has come back to bite him, according to this caller.

Sam from Mayfair told LBC that Mr Hancock's previous words had left him with nothing to "fall back on" now Public Health England has apologised for a technical glitch has meant nearly 16,000 cases of coronavirus have gone unreported.

Just last month, the Health Secretary claimed that the UK's system of testing and tracing potential coronavirus carriers was in the "top tranche" internationally.

Sam told James O'Brien: "Often you may have people in the civil service dealing with projects like this who don't quite understand them, and I think that these teething problems that have happened are to be expected.

"But Matt Hancock saying we're going to have a world-leading test and trace system doesn't really allow for those teething problems..."

Sam added: "By setting the scene so poorly at the beginning and setting everybody's expectations so high, when something like this happens you don't really have anything to fall back on."

The technical glitch, which resulted in 15,841 cases between September 25 and October 2 being left out of the reported daily coronavirus cases, was reportedly caused by an Excel spreadsheet reaching its maximum file size.

Reflecting on the Government's use of Excel for the project, Sam said "I'd use it for much more simple tasks than collating millions of data points".

Sam told LBC that despite voting for the Conservatives at the last general election, he is "so disappointed" by their performance as the governing party.

He said he thought voting for the Conservatives was his "only option" as a member of the Jewish community who felt he couldn't cast his ballot for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party.

Speaking of British politicians more broadly, Sam said "they don't actually have to deliver on what they say".

He added: "I think that actually, when you have to deliver on short-term operational results it's a completely different skills set and you have under-promise [and] over-deliver, and the Government haven't done that."