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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:32 pm on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Olivia Blake Olivia Blake Labour, Sheffield, Hallam 6:32 pm, 14th October 2020

No, I will not give way because we are short on time.

Why are the Government prioritising those private labs over our NHS to implement the testing system when those labs are clearly failing? We have seen some really good success in our labs in Sheffield, which have been testing staff at the teaching hospitals, and that could have been a lesson learned and applied across the country.

I have conducted polymerase chain reaction tests. I know that it is not that difficult. Moonshot is a complete and utter dream. I can safely say that I have been watching the testing system with frustration and I have suddenly become very popular with my ex-colleagues. They have been very enlightening when describing the conditions in which they have been working—often as volunteers while they are furloughed from their other labs.

In Sheffield, we heard that a recruitment drive was requested by the Prime Minister in September—a little bit late and a little bit after the horse has bolted. By that time, the planning for teaching was well under way and the contracts of many of them had ended and the seconding of staff was no longer available.

I have much more to say on this issue. I could go on and on and on, but the last thing I wish to say is that the numbers speak for themselves—