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Governments failing to work together to tackle Covid, says Stone


By Gordon Calder

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THE Scottish and UK governments are failing to work together to tackle the coronavirus, according to north MP Jamie Stone.

He hit out in the House of Commons and said he was "astounded" to hear reports of people in Devon being asked to go to Inverness to get a Covid-19 test and vice versa.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross asked health secretary Matt Hancock how much he was co-ordinating with the Scottish Government to tackle the virus which has killed over 42, 000 people in the UK.

He said: "Can the secretary of state reassure me that there is a truly collaborative effort being made by Her Majesty's Government and the Scottish Government to beat this virus?"

Mr Hancock replied: " Yes, absolutely – the testing facilities are one example of this, where the facilities right across the whole of the UK work very closely with the Scottish NHS, for instance, to make sure people can get a test as close to them as possible. I think we have reduced the problem of people being sent to Inverness but we continue to work to increase the capacity of Inverness and the rest of the UK."

Mr Stone was unimpressed with the answer, however. He said: "It is obvious that the UK and Scottish Governments are failing to co-ordinate. Mr Hancock told me that he is making sure 'people can get a test as close to them as possible' but we know that isn’t true. People are being asked to get a test from Inverness when they live in Devon, and vice versa.

"No-one – north or south of the border – should suffer at the hands of either government who continuously fail to coordinate.

"This isn’t about political point scoring – it’s about defeating the virus. Currently, neither the SNP or the Tories are doing enough to cooperate."



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