Keir Starmer delivered a stinging attack on the government's testing shambles from coronavirus self-isolation today.
The Labour leader, who is awaiting the results of a test after a family member developed symptoms, insisted the only reason he had been able to be checked was that his wife Victoria works for the NHS.
Addressing the TUC conference via video link from his north London home, Sir Keir said 'for thousands up and down the country it is a very different story'.
And turning his fire on Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, he said: 'It is not the British people that are to blame for these mistakes. It is not the civil service...
'It is the government that is holding Britain back.'
Sir Keir Starmer, who is awaiting the results of a test after a family member developed symptoms, told the TUC conference by video link that he had only been screened because his wife works for the NHS.
Sir Keir turned his fire on Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock (pictured centre and left at the Cabinet meeting this morning)
The intervention comes as a nationwide testing fiasco leaves doctors and nurses unable to work because they can't get checked for the illness.
Health service staff are having to leave the frontline to self-isolate because they or family members cannot book a test.
NHS Providers says that if the shortage is not addressed soon it will wreak havoc on hospitals as virus cases continue to escalate.
In another humiliating blow to the testing system, headteachers have warned that schools — which were closed for months because of the pandemic — will 'grind to a halt' if teachers can't get tested quickly.
One in Preston said this morning that he already has two staff self-isolating at home and struggling to get tested, along with 10 children.
Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock have both suggested that the system is under pressure because people are seeking tests when they don't have symptoms.
Meanwhile, health officials have blamed the crisis – which experts fear will rumble on for weeks – on a staffing shortage in laboratories.
Desperate bosses have now admitted they may have to hire