MATT Hancock has faced criticism from a high-profile Oxford doctor after saying that there was 'never' a national shortage of personal protective equipment.

Dr Rachel Clarke, a palliative care doctor based in Oxford, wrote on Twitter that Mr Hancock’s remarks are 'categorically not true'. 

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The Health Secretary said it was difficult to deliver PPE 'in the teeth of a pandemic', when addressing a High Court ruling over failings in publishing details of coronavirus-related contracts.

However, he said that thanks to his team, there was 'never a national shortage'.

Dr Clarke added that it is 'inexcusable' to lie about the shortage of PPE and added: "I say this as someone who begged local veterinary practices and schools for masks and visors.

"Whose hospice nearly closed down through lack of PPE.

"This was happening up and down the country. It was horrendous."