An administrative error has been blamed for a Manchester MP being sent a letter informing him of a new coronavirus test and trace centre on his patch – despite the facility being more than 240 miles away in Kent.

Navendu Mishra, who represents Stockport for Labour in Greater Manchester, posted the letter signed by health minister Lord James Bethell to his social media earlier this week.

While he welcomed the announcement, he added: “There’s only one problem – it’s located in a University of Greenwich campus 240 miles away!”

“I know we haven’t seen the details of the Government’s parliamentary boundary review yet but it would appear that the new Stockport constituency will stretch all the way to Kent!” the first-term MP followed.


“This once again highlights the Government’s complete mishandling of the Covid crisis, further putting lives at risk as we enter the second wave.

“Never mind Operation Moonshot – this Government can’t even provide tests for those that need them.”

The Department of Health and Social Care letter to Mr Mishra states: “Before selecting this site, we have engaged with local stakeholders to narrow down the location and identify a suitable site.”

The location of the centre mentioned in the letter is given as the Jellicoe Building car park, at Greenwich University’s Chatham campus – which is in Kent.

That centre was set to open Thursday.

A spokesperson for the department told the local democracy reporting service the mistake “was an administrative error which has now been resolved with the MP”.

Stockport got a new testing site with a facility opening at the Tiviot Dale Church on September 17.

It comes as Greenwich councillors, whose borough includes the main Greenwich University campus at the Old Royal Naval College, on Wednesday moved a motion to bring coronavirus test and trace systems in-house, citing “alarm and deep concern at the ongoing failures of the national test, track and trace system”.

“There’s absolutely no denying…testing has been at the heart of the government’s strategy but its execution has been an absolute and utter scandal,” council leader Dan Thorpe said ahead of moving the motion.