Government advice about not getting ill during nurse's strike is pure The Thick of It

Tory MP Will Quince asked if Rishi Sunak is 'taking the mickey' …

Over recent years, UK politics has gotten so outlandish that it’s been pretty hard to satirise at times.

Now, the government seems to have taken a leaf straight out of the Thick of It playbook after giving advice about not getting ill during the nurse strike.

Health minister Will Quince was busy doing the media rounds on Tuesday morning (December 20), and he warned the public to avoid unnecessary car journeys and any other “risky activities” as ambulance drivers stage strike action this week.

However, he didn’t go into much detail about what those risky activities – and it led people to get in touch with Number 10.

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No. 10 would not be drawn on what constituted “risky activity”, though, and Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson told reporters: “I’m not going to get into a list.”

But, while his spokesperson stayed tight-lipped, Quince then gave a few ideas of his own.

As reporter Jack Elsom wrote on Twitter, “Government comms latest: At the exact time the PM's spokesman was telling reporters he would not be telling the public what "risky activities" they shouldn't do during tomorrow's ambulance strikes, health minister Will Quince was on the radio doing just that...

Elsom added: “He told BBC 5 Live that people should ‘avoid contact sports’. Fitness is ok as long as it's not running on an icy road. Unnecessary car journeys" are a big no-no, whatever they may be.”

Maybe we don’t need another series of TheThick of It after all.

Quince also said people should avoid contact sport due to disruption – saying he would not go running on icy roads due to the extra risk of an injury from a fall.

“If there is activity that people are undertaking tomorrow, whether it’s – for example – contact sport, they may want to review that,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Would I go running tomorrow if it was still icy? No I wouldn’t, because that would encompass additional risk.”

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