Nigel Farage calls for ‘dishonest weasel’ Matt Hancock to be sacked over 100,000 testing target row

Louis Staples
Sunday 03 May 2020 09:00
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(GETTY)

Nigel Farage and the government haven't exactly seen eye-to-eye on coronavirus so far.

At the start of the pandemic, he lambasted the government for their slow response, urging them to take quicker measures to stop the spread. And now he's furious about lockdown, even revealing on LBC that he'd left his house *eight* times during one day. He's also faced controversy for travelling over 100 miles to film about migrants, for which he was reported to the police after insisting he's a "key worker".

If we chuck in the strange viral video of him "clapping for carers", and an unflattering TV Skype interview (featuring very short shorts), then it's been a fairly eventful pandemic for the Brexit Party leader so far.

A couple of days ago the right-winger went on Twitter and congratulated health secretary Matt Hancock for reaching his target of 100,000 tests in a day in the month of April.

But the warm words didn't last long.

It quickly emerged that all might not be as it seemed. Hancock was accused of "fiddling the figures" by including 40,000 tests which were mailed out to people, but not returned, in his 120,000 total.

There was a chorus of voices which weren't pleased and thought it was misleading to include 40,000 tests which haven't even been returned. If these tests were removed, Hancock wouldn't have hit his target.

(If this is news to you, read our explainer on the row here)

So Farage obviously read up about this and wasn't happy about it, because he tweeted shortly afterwards to change his tone.

He called Hancock a "weasel" and urged Boris Johnson to sack the health secretary for being "dishonest" over the testing controversy.

Right now it seems like the government is holding firm that it met its target, and we'll have to see if testing continues to increase. Downing Street had been forced to deny that Hancock was being lined up as the "fall guy" for perceived failures in its coronavirus response. This followed several awkward press conferences where he appeared to blame a string of people, including NHS staff and footballers, for problems with the government's coronavirus response.

But after "reaching" his target, it seems like Hancock might have saved his job after all.

For now.

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