EXCLUSIVE: Greens accuse PM of misleading Parliament over care homes

"The question is whether the Prime Minister deliberately misled the select committee or did so out of ignorance and incompetence."

The Green Party has accused Boris Johnson of misleading Parliament, after he falsely claimed that no coronavirus victims were discharged from hospitals to care homes.

When questioned by Jeremy Hunt at Wednesday’s Liaison Committee hearing, Johnson said a huge effort was made to protect care homes and that every decision to discharge patients was made by clinicians. “In no case was this done when people were suspected of being coronavirus victims,” he added.

But as we reported on Thursday, a UK government directive to care homes issued on 2nd April said that the NHS would seek to discharge more patients to care homes than normal. Crucially, it also said that care homes should accept coronavirus patients, even if they had not completed the 14-day isolation period.

Now the Greens have accused the PM of misleading Parliament. Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley told LFF: “That the Prime Minister misled Parliament seems self-evident. The testimony of those who had loved ones in care homes, who worked in them and represent those who do is overwhelming.

“The Government’s own guidance said care home patients should accept coronavirus patients, even if they had not completed the 14 day isolation period. The decision was even taken by government not to test staff or residents in care homes whilst actively discharging patients out of the NHS, untested, into social care settings. 

“The question is whether the Prime Minister deliberately misled the select committee or did so out of ignorance and incompetence. Either way, this should be investigated and the Prime Minister held to account.”

Josiah Mortimer and Joe Lo are co-editors of Left Foot Forward.

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