Coronavirus: UK's response has 'failed spectacularly', says former Conservative MP

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, prime minister Boris Johnson and chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance give a press briefing about the coronavirus outbreak. (AP)

A former Tory MP has hit out at the government’s coronavirus response, describing it as “unacceptable”.

Dr Phillip Lee, who quit the Conservative party in 2019 in protest at the government’s handling of Brexit, said the Boris Johnson administration has “failed spectacularly” over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The former MP, who lost his seat in the 2019 election when he stood as a Liberal Democrat, told LBC that the government’s primary goal should be reducing the loss of life.

Dr Phillip Lee has hit out at the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis. (PA)

He said: "The scale of unnecessary loss of life in this country is unacceptable. What angers me most is we could have done so much better.”

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He added: "We have to ask ourselves why our governance has failed so spectacularly."

Lee said that it was “utter nonsense” for the government to claim their response to coronavirus was a success.

His comments come a day after after it was announced that a total of 26,097 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community in the UK after contracting COVID-19.

It is the first time data on the number of deaths in care homes and the wider community has been included in the government's daily updates.

The total is about 17% higher than previous data showed and includes an additional 3,811 deaths recorded since the start of the outbreak.

Of these, around 70% were outside hospital settings.

The change in measurement means the UK death toll is the third highest in the world, behind the US and Italy, based on data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US had reported 58,355 deaths and Italy 27,359.

The government pointed out other countries may report figures differently and any lag is unclear, although France and Italy also include deaths in care homes.

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