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UK coronavirus: Matt Hancock defends scrapping PHE – live news

Follow the latest on the pandemic in the UK as the health secretary is set to defend the decision to scrap Public Health England as he increases testing

8.23am BST

Hancock has denied that scrapping PHE will be a distraction from the fight against the pandemic.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, he said:

I don’t accept that there will be a disruption. The reason is that we’re bringing together under a single leadership these functions. Of course they’ll be an organisational change element.

I am not a fan of these reorganisations. So I’m cautious about doing them, but I think this one is absolutely the best thing to do, because we need to bring together the different parts of the response.

8.14am BST

The pressure on Williamson is not letting up:

Wednesday’s Mail: The man who won’t take the blame #TomorrowsPapersToday #DailyMail

The Metro: Omnishambles Britain – #GavinWilliamson clings on to his job despite great exams fiasco / Failed TalkTalk chief Dido Harding is made Britain’s health supremo / And amid the chaos, there’s no sign of #BorisJohnson. #TomorrowsPapersToday #toryshambles #BeijingBoris

The Times 19/8/20  
Gavin Williamson leaving Millbank Studios, Westminster, yesterday. He insisted that he would not resign and blamed the exams regulator for the A-level fiasco. Photo : Ben Cawthra/LNP#tomorrowspaperstoday #thetimes #buyapaper @thetimes

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