Jeane Freeman claims UK Health Secretary snubbed her 'urgent' call on PPE

The Scottish Health Secretary was informed this morning that Matt Hancock would not be ‘available’ for the call to discuss PPE as tensions between Holyrood and Westminster mount over protection equipment

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has cancelled a call to discuss PPE in the wake of concerns that supply companies were prioritising NHS England over Scotland.

Jeanne Freeman, the Scottish Health Secretary appeared at Tuesday’s government press conference stating that she does have regular Zoom calls with Matt Hancock before adding: “We agreed to have today another call between the four health secretaries to discuss PPE, Hancock advised my office this morning that he was no longer available”.

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Matt Hancock and Jeane Freeman were due to have a call to discuss PPE, which the UK Health Secretary cancelled

The First Minister addressed the concerns about the distribution of PPE at the same press conference saying: “I am not interested in stirring up an issue that is not a real issue, because I'm not interested in petty arguments” but added: “We are not prepared to be treated unfairly.”

Ms Sturgeon concluded that the Scottish Government would be looking into the allegations and would provide “further updates when appropriate”.

Number 10 has denied reports that the UK Government has played a role in supplies of PPE being diverted away from Scotland. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Through this four nation approach, we’re working closely with the devolved administrations to coordinate the distribution of PPE evenly across the UK. We have not instructed any company to prioritise PPE for one nation over the others, so that is a flat no.”

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