An MP was prevented from speaking at a virtual meeting at the House of Commons because he sounded “like a Dalek” after encountering technical issues.
Tory MP for North Cornwall, Scott Mann, was attempting to make a speech about the retention of dentists in rural areas, but the audio came out at a fraction of its intended speed.
Mann – who was completely inaudible – was quickly cut off by deputy speaker Nigel Evans.
“Scott, Scott, sorry. You sound like a Dalek – and I don’t mean that unkindly,” Evans said. “There is clearly a communication issue.”
MPs were heard laughing in response and Mann later was able to return in the debate. “Apologies from North Cornwall,” he said.
When he was finally able to, he spoke about the challenges facing recruitment and retention of NHS dentists in rural areas.
He said: “We’ve got exceptionally long waiting lists in places like North Cornwall NHS treatment, with many people waiting years to come on the NHS list and we’ve got a limited number of dentists at the moment providing that NHS work.
“Many of the practices that I’ve got and the dentists that I’ve got are servicing more than 8,000 or 9,000 patients and in the long term that’s not sustainable.
“Those local issues are also compounded on the national picture. When someone normally presents to an NHS dentist, they tend to come in with emergency work and that tends to take quite a lot of time.”
He continued: “We don’t want oral health inequalities across the country. The challenge of levelling up is an economic one, but we also need to be aware that there are health shortages that come about from living in remoter areas.”
Mann seemingly did not take too much offence at the comparison, sharing a tweet about it later.
Things did not get much better, though: Brent North MP Barry Gardiner was next to speak and had to be reminded to unmute himself after several seconds of silence.