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”.

Read More

Read More
Nicola Sturgeon: 40 new deaths from coronavirus as Scotland total hits 615
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.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.