The ongoing failure to run a proper test, track and isolate system has left our country with one of the worst excess death rates in Europe and facing one of the worst economic downturns of any of the world’s advanced economies.

With rising cases, lives and livelihoods are at stake. We all have to play our part in getting our country through this crisis, but leadership from the top matters.

In his broadcast to the nation, the prime minister complained there have been “too many breaches”.

He’s got a point, but he should have set an example from the outset when his own adviser Dominic Cummings took a round trip to Durham during lockdown. It seems like it’s one rule for them and one rule for the rest of us.

People have been struggling to get a test, despite promises from health secretary Matt Hancock, who brought in Tory Baroness Harding to help.

She’s the businesswoman whose last notable professional achievement was presiding over an enormous data breach at TalkTalk.

Millions of people experiencing unemployment in the run-up to Christmas were looking to the chancellor for some hope.

Instead, Rishi Sunak’s latest gimmick, badged as helping people back to work part-time, made it cheaper for bosses to keep one worker full-time than to keep two workers part-time.

His slick marketing campaigns give the impression that he’s more interested in his next job than in saving yours.

Britain is paying a heavy price for the government’s failure on coronavirus. We deserve better.


Wes Streeting MP

For the Ilford Recorder.

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