Daisy Cooper MP to Ed Humpherson: coronavirus testing programme

Dear Mr Humpherson

I am concerned that the Government’s claim to have hit “100,000 coronavirus tests a day” by the end of April is a misrepresentation of the statistics and as a result will decrease the public’s trust in Official Statistics.

It has been variously alleged in the national press that:

1. On 31 April 2020, the “100,000 tests” included the numbers of tests dispatched but not completed or processed (the Guardian’s chart claims to represent “tests processed through labs or sent to homes or satellite testing locations”)
2. At best it was a one-off achievement and not a consistent pattern as would be expected from a statement implied by the phrase “per day”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/06/boris-johnson-misses-coronavirus-testing-target-for-fourth-day-in-a-row

I am concerned that the claims might also reduce trust in other related government ambitions such as the Prime Minister’s stated goal of achieving 200,000 tests per day by the end of May.

I would ask that you investigate the claim and if a misrepresentation has occurred make a public statement on the matter in order that the public’s trust in national statistics producers can be maintained.

Yours sincerely

Daisy Cooper MP
Member of Parliament for St Albans

HM Treasury Analysis

Letter from Sir Andrew Dilnot to the Rt Hon Peter Lilley MP regarding HM Treasury analysis.