The government has been accused of a “clusterfuck of shithousery” after up to 550 MPs were locked out of a crucial Zoom call about Covid rules because it had reached its participant limit of 100.
Ministers and the deputy chief medical officer for England were set to virtually brief Parliament about the latest coronavirus developments, ahead of a press conference at 3pm on Wednesday.
But a number of MPs tweeted to say they were locked out of the meeting. Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan tweeted: “Another example of government incompetence.
“I’ve tried to join but couldn’t because the Zoom meeting is at capacity.”
Labour MP Neil Coyle told HuffPost UK: “Inept is not a good enough word for this clusterfuck of shithousery.”
He later tweeted to say the meeting had also “ended without warning”.
Another MP said: “Just an example of how utterly useless this government is – minister for logistics hosting a really important zoom re. vaccine roll out with Jonathan Van-Tam and used his own Zoom with 100 capacity!
“Cue furious MPs unable to get in with meeting cancelled and link being reissued. Couldn’t make it up!”
An unnamed MP got in touch with journalist Dan Bloom to say: “This is beyond dickheadery now...”
Matt Hancock held a press conference on Wednesday to announce more of the east and south-east of England will enter the toughest tier 4 lockdown on Boxing Day.
The new areas that will be under the toughest restrictions are:
- Those parts of Essex not yet in tier 4
- Waverley in Surrey
- Southampton, with the exception of the New Forest
He also revealed a further new, “more transmissible” and “concerning” variant of coronavirus had been detected in the UK after first being identified in South Africa.
The health secretary attended a meeting of the cabinet’s Covid operations committee on Wednesday to consider the latest data on the spread of the virus.