Oral Answers to Questions

Angus Brendan MacNeil Excerpts
Monday 4th May 2020

(4 years ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Angus Brendan MacNeil Portrait Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
- Hansard - -

What role his Department played in the decision to restrict covid-19 testing to hospital admissions at the beginning of March 2020.

Penny Mordaunt Portrait The Paymaster General (Penny Mordaunt) [V]
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Prime Minister established new implementation committees to co-ordinate the covid response. The committees are supported by the Cabinet Office secretariat and meet regularly on all issues, including testing.

Angus Brendan MacNeil Portrait Angus Brendan MacNeil [V]
- Hansard - -

Tapadh leibh, Mr Speaker. May I first say how sorry we are in Na h-Eileanan an Iar to hear the concerning news from our neighbours in the Isle of Skye about the covid outbreak in Portree? Over to the western—with ourselves, Na h-Eileanan an Iar—we are an ideal area really, with the lowest R rate, to conduct a “test, trace, isolate” pilot, and even more so with the kind offers of help from the world leaders in population testing: namely, our neighbours in the Faroe Islands. Given that, and if and when the Scottish Government give the green light to this sensible pilot, will the UK Government also assist, perhaps by using RAF training flights to take test samples on the half-hour flight from either Stornaway or Benbecula to the Faroe Islands?

Penny Mordaunt Portrait Penny Mordaunt
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I thank the hon. Gentleman and all colleagues who have put forward ideas and solutions, and shared good practice in the early weeks of this crisis. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman’s request will have been heard by our joint Minister, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Moor View (Johnny Mercer). Of course, Defence has stepped up in every case where it has been asked to do so, and I am sure that it will support testing wherever it is taking place, as well as the pilots.