“In April, on schedule, we delivered the target of 100,000 tests a day”

Matt Hancock, House of Commons

November 2, 2020

Facts

Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that “In April, on schedule, we delivered the target of 100,000 tests a day”

Many senior Tories doubled down on the claim, including Michael Gove and Tom Tugendhat.

Figures provided by Matt Hancock at the daily briefing stated that testing figures had hit 122,347 on April 30.

According to Full Fact, “of the 122,347 tests that the government has said were completed on April 30, 27,497 are home tests and 12,872 were sent out to satellite sites. This suggests that just 81,978 of the tests were actually processed. Subsequently published data confirmed that the actual number of tests conducted on April 30 2020 was 83,143 - the highest number of daily tests recorded that month. At no stage in April did the government conduct over 100,000 tests a day.

The lack of clarity on tests caused the chair of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir David Norgrove, to write to Matt Hancock asking him to clarify whether his new target of 200,000 referred to testing capacity; tests that have been administered; test results received; or the number of people tested. 

Matt Hancock’s reply to Sir David can be found here

Verdict

Matt Hancock’s claim, which he has repeated on a number of occasions, was false. It remains on the Commons record in defiance of the Ministerial Code. For a list of misleading claims made by Boris Johnson and his ministers about testing see hereherehereherehereherehereherehere and here.

When we asked Matt Hancock to respond to the claims laid out in this website, a spokesperson said: “This list is false, wildly inaccurate, and in some cases possibly even defamatory. For example claiming that some of Matt's claims in the Commons were in defiance of the ministerial code, when they were in fact accurate. The priority throughout this unprecedented pandemic has been saving lives.” 

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