James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Shadow Health Secretary: Cases will continue to rise if test and trace isn't fixed
22 September 2020, 16:05 | Updated: 22 September 2020, 17:07
The Shadow Health Secretary supports the Government tightening restrictions, but fears cases will rise still unless the UK's test and trace system is fixed.
Jonathan Ashworth MP told Selagh Fogarty: "These restrictions are necessary. We're at a perilous moment, we've seen the infection rise, it's been extremely worrying."
The Shadow Health Secretary added, "If they'd fixed the testing and tracing regime over the summer...we could've avoided today, but we are where we are. We do support them."
Mr Ashworth went on to note that confusion around nationwide regulations and local tighter restrictions needs to be cleared up.
Shelagh put to the Shadow Health Secretary that while amenities such as cafés, bars and restaurants remain open under new restrictions, the Government runs the risk of cases continuing to rise.
"The worry is the restrictions that have been announced will not work.
"One thing we didn't get from the Prime Minister was...clarity to when these [restrictions] will be reviewed, what his benchmarks are."
Mr Ashworth urged, "Unless you really fix your test and trace regime - it has been a shambles - you will see infections continue to rise because you've lost control of the virus."
As Shelagh asked Mr Ashworth what he thought about if the army should be deployed to help with the UK's pandemic response, he said he would support the move if it helped the contact tracing system.
"Anything that improves testing and tracing and isolating in this country is welcome. It hasn't worked, it has broken down."