Dr Julian Lewis: How much greater would the backlog be if we had not successfully resisted the entreaties of those modellers, and indeed politicians, who wanted another shutdown over the Christmas period?
[The Minister for Health (Edward Argar): It is always hard to prove a counterfactual, as my right hon. Friend will know, but we do know that the necessary measures we took during the pandemic to help to tackle this dangerous virus inevitably had a significant impact on waiting lists. Due to infection prevention and control measures and a range of other things, normal levels of surgery and planned surgery were not able to go ahead. He may be able to extrapolate from that, but, as I say, it is slightly difficult to come up with a detailed counterfactual.]