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Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:01 pm on 3rd June 2020.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party 12:01 pm, 3rd June 2020

I welcome that news from the Prime Minister. He did not put a number on those who have been traced, but, as he knows, the number of people testing positive for covid-19 every day is only a fraction of those actually infected every day. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number actually infected every day is between 7,000 and 9,000. Assuming that up to five contacts need to be traced for every infected person, the system probably needs to reach 45,000 people a day, so there is a long way to go; and I am sure that if it is 45,000 a day, the Prime Minister will confirm that in just a minute. But the problem when the Prime Minister uses statistics is that the UK Statistics Authority has had concerns on more than one occasion. In a strongly worded letter to the Health Secretary yesterday, the chair of the UK Statistics Authority said that the statistics

“still fall well short of…expectations. It is not surprising that given their inadequacy data on testing are so widely criticised and often mistrusted.”

Can the Prime Minister see how damaging this is to public trust and confidence in his Government?