Keir Starmer has demanded to know why 75,000 coronavirus tests “are not being used every day”, as people are sent hundreds of miles to get one.
In Commons clashes, he accused Boris Johnson of “ignoring the problem” and of failing to give “honest answers” about the deep problems the test-and-trace system is facing.
“It's got a lot worse in the last week or two – everybody in this House knows it, because they've all had constituents, telling them,” he warned the prime minister.
“The latest government figures were updated last night. They show that, on average, 75,000 tests are not being used every day.
“If the 75,000 are not being used, why, yesterday, were people being told to go hundreds of miles for a test? Why, yesterday, were people being told, there's no capacity?”
The Labour leader raised the case of a London mum, trying to get a coronavirus test for her daughter – who was told the nearest test available was in Swansea.
In response, the prime minister echoed his health secretary, Matt Hancock, by appearing to blame the lack of tests on ineligible people attempting to get one.
“There has been a massive increase in the number of people who need a test and particularly people who don't have symptoms,” MPs were told.