Karl McCartney, MP for Lincoln, has said that he thinks the NHS COVID-19 app’s “days are numbered”, and admitted he has never downloaded the app before.
Mr McCartney made the claim during an interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire on Thursday morning, as the ‘pingdemic’ from the NHS COVID-19 app continues to divide opinion.
More than 600,000 people were sent self-isolation alerts in England and Wales between July 8 and 15, a 17% rise from the previous week.
Businesses have complained that the volume of self-isolation pings is causing staff shortages, and there are calls for the close contact system to be scrapped.
Self-isolation is due to come to an end for fully vaccinated people from August 16, but some are suggesting that the deadline should be brought forward.
The NHS app alert is only advisory, whereas a phone call from NHS Test and Trace makes self-isolation enforceable by law.
Karl McCartney said: “I don’t think people are retaining it on their phones if they even had it in the first place, and I think its days are numbered. I haven’t got it and never had it.”
He took to social media soon after the interview to explain his stance on the situation, quoting a segment from the Houses of Parliament where chief whip Mark Harper said people are no longer listening to the rules as they don’t make sense.
The MP has actively spoken out against the imposing of lockdown rules, even voting against his own party at times.
He was the only Lincolnshire MP to vote against extending the Coronavirus Act in March 2021, which allows the government to legally enforce COVID-19 regulations and lockdowns until the next review in October.
As well as this, in January 2021 he was one of just 16 members of parliament to vote against the third national lockdown, again the only MP in Lincolnshire to take this stance.
The Lincolnite has approached Karl McCartney to expand on his point regarding the COVID-19 app, but are yet to receive a reply.