Minister pledges to review NHS app Tier levels after Nick Ferrari interview

22 October 2020, 09:54

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

After police chiefs said they were “struggling” to enforce the latest Covid-19 restrictions which have brought “greater confusion” Nick Ferrari grilled the Policing Minister.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari the Policing Minister Kit Malthouse agreed they would look again at how the Tier system was spoken about by those in public service.

Nick Ferrari pointed out to the Minister that when senior officers were before the Home Affairs Select Committee they both got the rules wrong.

"So that's two senior police officers, neither of whom got it right? And you're expecting the good folk of North West Hampshire, all my listeners to get it right all the time, or in some instances, they'll be fined £1,000?"

The Minister said he was expecting people to "inform themselves and be sure about what the regulations are."

He told Nick that a large amount was down to "common sense."

But the LBC presenter questioned the Minister over how the rules work which lead to Mr Malthouse suggesting it was "down to what Tier you're in."

Pointing out the disparity in the Tier system between the police and the NHS Nick asked why the two public bodies used different ways of referring to the system of restrictions.

"When the NHS app is using medium-high and very high but in reality, police are using Tiers 1, 2, 3 those two don't marry up, why?"

Mr Malthouse said that "1, 2, 3 and medium-high, and very high are the same thing."

When Nick Ferrari questioned why there wasn't more unity across public service Mr Malthouse said he would speak to the relevant authorities.

"Ok Nick, you've raised a very good challenge, and I'm going to go back to the Home Office this afternoon and say 'can you make sure that we're all calling the same Tiers the same thing'."

To which Nick replied: "Why does it fall to a clapped out journalist like me to suggest to a Minister of State the way forward?"

Pivoting to flattery, Mr Malthouse said Nick was "underplaying it, you're the voice of the British people aren't you."

Explaining that the Government was "having to move at speed" the Minister said they were "working as hard as we can to get it right."

Speaking to the Home Affairs Select Committee one senior officer said: “Introducing them in the way that we have done has introduced greater confusion – that’s exactly the crux of the issue here,” admitted Assistant Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Constabulary Owen Weatherill, from the NPCC, adding: “We are all struggling with that.”

Mr Weatherill revealed the NPCC had pleaded with the government for clearer rules, telling MPs: “That is what I thought was going to happen 10 days ago.”