SOUTH Swindon MP Robert Buckland faced a grilling from Kay Burley on Sky News this morning about the lack of available tests and the controversial internal market bill.

The justice secretary defended the government's testing scheme after 85 per cent of people in England struggled to book a test yesterday.

Kay Burley argued that this increased demand was predictable and should have been prepared for.

Mr Buckland said: "All of us are seeing these difficulties as schools come back and families try to go back to normal. The complications of life make things more challenging.

"We have worked so hard to scale up capacity and we are still not there yet but the rate of increase is outstripping other European countries.

"It's incumbent on all of us to do the right thing for our families but remember that there are a lot of other people who need these tests.

"Lab capacity has been an issue but we are working our way through that and setting up more test centres."

Schoolchildren and their families should be a priority for tests when the new prioritisation scheme comes in, he added.

Kay asked how the £10 billion spent on Test and Trace had been used and Mr Buckland replied that it had been spent as "quickly and sensibly as possible". 

He added: "The government has absolutely committed resources, money and time to this. We can always do better but... we are committed to making sure we can deal with this and minimise disruption."

The internal market bill which, one MP infamously admitted, broke the law in a 'specific and limited way' came up during the interview.

Mr Buckland said lots of discussions were being had to ensure the bill went through and said that he would resign "if this country breaks the law in a way that is clear and cannot be judged finely or fudged - there are lots of debates about precisely what the law is in this area" but added that "we are not at that stage, I think we can resolve this".

When objections from his colleagues and former prime ministers were raised, he said they were "right to sound the alarm about a flagrant... breach of the law but we are not at that stage".

The interview ended with brief discussions of the upcoming sentencing overhaul, with tougher sentencing suggested for child killers and people who cause death by dangerous driving, and about former Australian PM Tony Abott being appointed as a trade advisor- Mr Buckland said he did not agree with Mr Abbott's views but his background and experience with trade deals was valuable.