8 sceptical responses to this swift u-turn on why the UK missed out on a PPE scheme
Sir Simon McDonald, a senior civil servant at the Foreign Office, told a committee early on Tuesday that the decision not to participate in a PPE and ventilator procurement scheme run by the EU was a political one.
This directly contradicted the official line, which was that the opportunity had been missed due to miscommunication, although Matt Hancock separately claimed to have given the green light to the UK’s involvement.
It was all a but awkward, but not as awkward as when he “clarified” his statement a few hours later.
— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) April 21, 2020
When he said the government had been briefed and decided not to get involved, he meant they hadn’t been briefed and it was a communication issue like officials had said – if you forget about Matt Hancock insisting he’d signed off on it.
All clear? As mud.
Here are the best reactions we’ve seen.
So ‘It wasn’t a political decision, we really did miss the emails’ is what counts as a defence for this shower.
— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) April 21, 2020
I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO CLARIFY THAT THE DECISION TO DESTROY ALDERAAN WAS NOT, IN FACT, A POLITCAL DECISION AND THE DESTRUCTION OF ALDERAAN ONLY OCCURRED DUE TO THE GALACTIC EMPIRE NOT RECEIVING ANY PROTESTATIONS FROM THE ALDERAANIAN GOVERNMENT.
THANK YOU. pic.twitter.com/n9dDjJDElh
— DARTH BREXIT (@Darth_Brexit_) April 21, 2020
'Clarification': noun, the action of making a statement or situation less confused and more comprehensible.
ie not a U turn. https://t.co/5uiRsiZ2Sq
— Jessica Simor QC (@JMPSimor) April 21, 2020
"At this moment in time I did not say them things" – Glenn Hoddle https://t.co/JtlcEQKjyr
— Peter Smith (@Redpeter99) April 21, 2020
— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) April 21, 2020
Apparently, one of the UK's most senior diplomats had a mini episode and recalled everything inconveniently badly.
Later that day he re-recalled everything, without anyone at all shouting at him, much better.
Either that happened or something else, that's not a lie, happened. https://t.co/VjlK9fXD53
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) April 21, 2020
“That thing I said earlier was not the thing I actually said and if you think the thing I said was what I actually said you’re wrong.”
Another day, another new low. https://t.co/7evIUyDUBg
— 🏳️🌈 Max 🏳️🌈 (@SpillerOfTea) April 21, 2020
— Liam Thorp (@LiamThorpECHO) April 21, 2020
Graham Lithgow had this apt metaphor for the government’s blundering.
Watching this government trip over their own arses attempting to cover up their latest blunder/lie is like that scene in the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob finds himself stepping on rakes in excruciating perpetuity. https://t.co/1qf2p6VbnB
— Graham Lithgow (@grahamlithgow) April 21, 2020
So, here you are.