Grant Shapps explains why he voted against weekly Covid testing of NHS staff

PUBLISHED: 17:08 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:08 30 June 2020

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps believes that Labour were playing politics with the vote last week. Picture: AARON CHOWN/PA

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps believes that Labour were playing politics with the vote last week. Picture: AARON CHOWN/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Last week MPs, including our own, rejected a motion calling for NHS and social care staff to be tested weekly for COVID-19.

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth called for a routine weekly testing programme for all NHS and social care so they can safely continue working as lockdown eases.

At the time, the Leicester South MP argued that weekly testing would: “Enable NHS services to safely resume and ensure the continuity of services throughout the winter alongside a functional, national, public test, trace and isolate system.”

The motion was voted down by 344 votes to 198 votes.

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Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps said: “I am very supportive of regular testing for our NHS staff who have tirelessly continued to fight against coronavirus.

“Furthermore I am strongly in favour of the NHS staff testing policy as advised by the Chief Medical Officer. This approach continues to prioritise testing of all NHS staff with symptoms, plus regular testing of asymptomatic staff in situations where there is an incident and regular surveillance testing of staff overall.

“So it was disappointing to see Labour play politics with this issue last week. They know perfectly well that what the Chief Medical Officer has recommended is the model being followed, and I don’t think they should be playing politics with the coronavirus.

“I will also continue to support our brilliant NHS staff making sure they have access to the equipment, tests and support they need to control this virus and save lives.”

Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden has been contacted for a comment.

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