Will Minister put his reputation on reaching coronavirus testing targets?

21 April 2020, 09:56

By Adrian Sherling

This government minister refused to put his reputation on the line over the government reaching their target on the amount of testing for Covid-19.

Matt Hancock pledged that the government would reach a target of testing 100,000 people per day for coronavirus by the end of April. Yesterday, the total was just shy of 20,000. That leaves a lot of ramping up to go in the next nine days.

Nick Ferrari put that point to Simon Clarke, the Minister for local government, and he insisted he was still confident the government could reach that target.

So Nick asked him: "Are you prepared to put your political reputation on the fact that we'll put 100,000 tests in place in the next nine days?"

Would Minister Simon Clarke put his reputation on the line over testing?
Would Minister Simon Clarke put his reputation on the line over testing? Picture: LBC / PA

He responded: "I can certainly put my political reputation on the fact that we will do our absolute darnedest..."

But Nick interrupted: "No, that's not quite the same, Minister, and you know that as well as I. Are you prepared to say that you will get there, not that you'll do your darnedest and that people will work 25 hours a day.

"Can you put your political reputation on the fact that we will attain that number?"

Mr Clarke insisted: "I can put my reputation on the fact that that's our pledge and we are in a good position to go and meet it."

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Nick told him: "I'm sure you know how many tests were done yesterday - 19,316. That's a heck of a 'ramping up' as you say."

Watch the interview at the top of the page.

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