MATT Hancock is coming under pressure to follow Nicola Sturgeon’s lead and reveal his coronavirus exit plan.

In an angry interview with the BBC, the beleaguered Health Secretary  even claimed his government's five point plan for easing the lockdown announced last week was the same as the Scottish Government's 25 page paper released yesterday. 

Sturgeon's framework document, and willingness to hold an "adult conversation" about the trade-offs necessary for living in a global pandemic, was praised by politicians from across the parties, including a number of senior Tories.

But this morning the Health Secretary said it was still too soon.

He told Radio Four's Today programme: "The British public have been unbelievably resolute in supporting the lockdown measures because they understand the impact on the number of people who ultimately die from this disease and I stand with the British public with that resolve.

"Of course there will be a time when we need to make changes, and we’ve set out the five tests precisely to give people the guide on when those changes can safely be done. I will not allow the changes to be made that are unsafe.

"The point is that the improvement in health from getting the number of new cases right down is also the best thing for the economy because the worst thing for the economy would be a second spike."

He also claimed that the UK government hadn’t been left behind by the Scottish Government. 

Hancock said: "We have released a framework - we released it last Thursday, which is five tests for the things that need to happen before we can make changes. 

Presenter Mishal Husain interrupted, telling the Health Secretary: “You know that is different. We know about your five tests.” 

Hancock hit back: "It is not different,” he said, angrily. “It is not different because if you read the Scottish document it is essentially a reiteration broadly of those five tests.

"It doesn’t set out what the Scottish government is going to do."

Hancock said he did not have a “problem in principle” with Sturgeon setting out her own plan.

“My preference is that we work together as one country.

“I think that is where the public has been during this but I also respect the responsibilities that my devolved colleagues have got”.  

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith called on his party to follow the SNP administration's lead. He told The Times: “The government needs now to explain to the British public that they are planning for the time when we come out of lockdown.

“We must trust the British public to understand how this will happen. The Scottish administration is right. I want the UK government to be doing the same.”  

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Treasurer of the 1922 Committee, told The Times: "If we keep the lockdown going, it will be much more difficult for the economy to recover.

"The nation is quite divided on this and it’s up to the Government, I think, to exercise leadership. Unless we do something fairly soon the economy is going to take a real hit."

Some senior Tories figures believe that Boris Johnson's absence as he recovers from Covid-19 has created a leadership vacuum with noboy at the top willing to take decision.

It's believed the Prime Minister could return to work on Monday next week. 

READ MORE: Boris Johnson 'on the mend in a big way' but his return is up to doctors

The Welsh Government has also added to the pressure on Hancock with First Minister Mark Drakeford ready to announce the easing of some restrictions at the end of the current three-week lockdown.