Analysis comment

Watch: senior Foreign Office official admits ‘political decision’, not comms problems led to UK rejecting EU PPE/ventilator offer

Feeble excuse destroyed by civil servant’s admission

Sir Simon McDonald, the Permanent Under Secretary to the Foreign Office has destroyed whatever shreds remained of Matt Hancock’s and Boris Johnson’s credibility over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tories had claimed that the UK did not take part in an EU scheme to obtain vital PPE (personal protective equipment) and ventilators when the opportunity was offered, because of ‘communication’ problems – even claiming that EU emails had been missed because they went to the ‘junk’ folder.

But McDonald has admitted when questioned by a parliamentary committee that the UK government was fully aware of ‘what was on offer’ – and made a ‘political decision’ to reject it:

Front-line NHS staff continue to be exposed to the virus daily because of shortages of PPE – the NHS has now completely run out of some types of vital protective wear.

More than 100 health workers have now died from the virus – while patients will also have become infected, according to health experts, while being treated by ‘asymptomatic’ staff without the recommended PPE.

Because of a Conservative ‘political decision’.

Johnson and Hancock owe their resignations to the families of those who have died unnecessarily and should face criminal proceedings.

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32 comments

  1. Resignations is not enough, there needs to be criminal law involved in moments like this,ie national emergency, no doubt the next phrase will be lessons learned, similiar lessons learned like after self harm caused by dwp policy, procurement should be handled separately in crisis by people that know what there doing, if ministers are struggling with this, simple answer, remember the bullshit you had on your red bus 350m per week to the nhs, 3 weeks worth of that = ppe, none of this junk from conservative home about 1 billion bits of ppe in circulation and being more frugal, if lives depends on ppe, frugal should not even be a word or if it is then when the kit is used donate to a tory mp, they can use it, e need new laws overhaul of the 18th century bellringers, get rid of the hop booze, subsidied bars and food, reform there expenses, no second homes and if there not doing there job properly, simple, sack them, we need a assessment test prior to election to show your capable, one month of their year they should be out doing community work of there constituents choice so they can get experience of real world ( summer recess) there holiday should be 5 weeks + bank holidays and if there doing long hours, then bank the hours, the one thing this shows is how disorganised this is and if there is a case for modern parliamentary reform, it is once this is over

    1. BoJo’s Brexit Bad. Jeremy’s vision Good. Closer ties with Europe in the Customs Union & Single Market, with autonomy. What’s not to like, unless you’re a Blairite named Keir Starmer. You know why Jeremy was removed as the New New Labour Party offers terms to the Lib.Dems in a ‘United Front’ for Remain..

    2. RH
      EU does not work, this has put treatment of Greece in the shade
      It’s like David Cameron telling us we are all in it together
      Unfortunately to many are in it a lot deeper than others and bottom line is Germany and Holland not prepared to put hands in pockets
      Only chance the euro has of survival is full integration and that ain’t going to happen
      More chance of further break up

  2. Nothing much will change,other than ministers having sickys and claiming “We didnt know” and let’s have an inquiry and shut down the moaning commies..More badges all round and knighthoods and the lords for those complicit in the planned euthanasia experiment.Lessons learned the British population will put up with any shit dished out to them and still no there place and say thankyou.

  3. Shot by a professional Civil Servant.

    Laura Kuennsberg and the sellout Guardian Media Group should be deeply ashamed of themselves, speaking sludge to Power.

    Excellent journalism Skwawkbox.

  4. ‘Emails went into the ‘junk’ folder…’

    Can’t even trust them with a bloody email account ffs.

    1. it a new one t me, it training is always check your junk folder, still it is a good reason as it is government stated, suppose you did have to find the it version of the dog ate the letter, the question is, would you trust this lot after this, imagine them coming round on there merry go round bus with there leaflet of promises, there needs to be a independent enquiry and if needed criminal actions, to many times they do the we can do whatever we want and nothing will happen, well maybe someone wants a knighthood, they really should be considering there position at all levels in governmetn

      1. I’m sure they’d soon find an email from me in their junk folder – especially if the content was enough to send me down for a good few years.

        There was me thinking they had software that could distinguish the wording within the contents. For example, if I wrote: ‘Hey boris, you gormless worzel gummidge fuck, I’m gonna blow you away with a pipe bomb, then I’m gonna shoot the rest of the cabinet in the head with a .44 magnum’

        …They’d be onto it in a flash – junk mail or not.

        For that reason I don’t believe this email went unread at all, before it was deleted. Whether it went into junk mail or not, I reckon it was read. I don’t believe ANY email that goes into junk goes unread. The sender’s info’s of too much value – be it a spambot or human.

        And even it it remains in doubt – that means they’re either lying, or they’re incompetent (liars).

        Their excuse is worse than what a six year old could come up with – It IS the equivalent of ‘The dog ate the letter’.

        It’ll soon become the new: ‘It was an honest oversight, guv’ – A favourite of the fraudulent expense ‘claiming’ (Thieving and scrounging, more like) MPs.

      2. I go with lying, however in there case what we see as a lie is not for them, it is normalised behaviour, addicts have that issue as well, when I see how some of them act, I wonder, in normal business we had random d/a testing, there they do not, hence the lies, compounded with a 5.1 million subsidised spend on booze which I think you could easily double as it was subsidised I think just maybe there a clue there somewhere, we got to lie, quick roll out the barrel, now vote on it, there probably some truth there, 1% payrise for nhs, get them all pissed then vote on it, fist pumping smith look at some of the pictures of them sometimes, gove by the speakers a few months back, could barely stand up, should have been tested, makes many wonder, should be turned into a dry house

  5. Downloaded the video and shared with credits to SKWAWKBOX.
    Get this out to as many outlets as possible

  6. It’s strange how the Govt can count the number of pieces of protective gear supplied but not the number of staff dead in Care Homes and working as Carers. They say it’s a billion pieces but are they still counting ‘gloves’ as 2 items? And isn’t the point is it enough rather than how many pieces?

    1. Stranger still, that a few state-educated criminals, armed with nothing more than cheap throwaway mobile phones can succesfully run a $multi-billion international drug running empire, despite all the problems & challenges that emanate from evading the law in those countries

      Yet these privately-educated morons in Westminster, with all the facilities at their disposal, cannot (legally, lawfully or otherwise) secure a consignment of what’s essentially paper apparel.

      1. EDIT

        ”despite all the **logistical** problems & challenges that emanate from evading the **authorities** in those countries”

    2. Knowing those chancers “in charge” of things, they’re probably counting 1 box of gloves as 100 actual gloves (the ones we use in the lab come in boxes of 100), just to get the figures up.

      Even that consignment from Turkey only had enough gowns for 3 days (apparently the NHS uses 150,000 gowns daily). That’s assuming it has arrived/ever will arrive. As an aside, there was an interesting report on The World Tonight last night (Radio 4), saying that when the Turkish Government closed the vocational colleges, they set the sewing machines to work on making PPE to supply their health service. Meanwhile, our Government is begging for scraps, frankly.

    1. …. and there is also Keir Starmer’s excellent performance at his first PMQs as the leader of the Labour Party.

      1. Dont agree the framing of the story around the NHS is still nowhere near reality,
        We are still allowing them to get away with murder
        Cheap and nasties have a visceral hatred of the NHS
        We are where we are because they have run it into ground for 10 years and as we know they will sell what’s left to Trumpton
        All of which translates into extra deaths now and in the future

      2. Doug – I’m pleased that his attacks were focussed rather than a scattergun approach. He very effectively stuck to the most relevant issues of the day, I have no doubt that he will cover the wider issues around the NHS in subsequent PMQs or at other relevant debates.

      3. SteveH
        Neither Starmer or Ashworth hit the target, they did not lay a glove on the fuckers
        Why are we playing their game by their rules, we have enough with MSM and toilet papers parroting everything they say
        Its upto us to frame the story and set the agenda

  7. The first way to stop “sell off” is the repealing if Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act to stop competitive tendering.Even Maybot and Simon Stevens wanted this, KS should make this his first priority after the world gets through the pandemic and before trade deals with USA are agreed.

  8. sticking to the point , a POLITICAL decision was made by Govt Ministers NOT to partake in the process to get more life saving ventilators .
    THIS IS A CRIME , there are no doubt dead people because of that decision , which was based on ideology of Brexit .
    I’d take Piers Morgan ANY day over wet paper bag sycophant Starmer , in nailing Govt MPs and Ministers

  9. If, as they say the Email was in their junk, 😂😂, did every company’s offering of PPE go in the junk mail?? I’ve seen 6,7,and 8 companies on Twitter say they’ve offered PPE, they have warehouses full, they don’t get back to anyone! What,with the PPE debacle and the Tests we haven’t got but everyone else in Europe has? Could we be ashamed of thinking that the govt are in fact doing herd immunity! This video from Feb the 3rd shows Bozo actually saying we are the country to do that !! https://twitter.com/politicsjoe_uk/status/1251458390028664832?s=21

    1. Maybe the Government spam filters are confusing PPE with the old “reclaim your PPI” emails we all used to get by the bucketload…

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