Boris Johnson repeatedly blamed the public for overloading the Covid-19 testing system by ordering tests when they don't have symptoms.

Keir Starmer demanded the Prime Minister fix the "frankly ridiculous" Covid-19 testing chaos, as he revealed patients are still being told to travel miles to get tested.

In a bruising PMQs exchange, the Labour leader told Mr Johnson: "I just want it fixed. I don't need to have an argument."

Mr Starmer told the story of a mother who lives in London trying to secure a Covid-19 test for her four-year-old daughter.

He said the woman was told the nearest place for a test was Telford or Inverness, before being offered Swansea as an option.

Sir Keir added: "This is frankly ridiculous. Who does the Prime Minister think is responsible for this?"

Mr Johnson admitted he was responsible for the situation, but followed Health Secretary Matt Hancock in indicating the situation had been caused by public demand for tests from people who did not have symptoms.

The PM said demand for testing was "acute"

He said the Test and Trace system was doing a "heroic job" of getting people tested - with capacity of 500,000 expected to be available by the end of October.

And he accused Mr Starmer of "attacking" the system.

Mr Starmer said Labour in principle supports the limit on social gatherings and denied he was attacking NHS Test and Trace, telling the Commons: "The Prime Minister needs to know how anxious hundreds of families are."

He said the Government line on testing "seems to be changing all the time", asking: "Who is right - the director of Test and Trace, that this is a laboratory problem, or the Health Secretary that it's the public's fault?"

Matt Hancock gave a similar excuse earlier in the day

Mr Johnson replied: "I of course sympathise with all those who are facing difficulties getting a test as fast as they want but demand is at an unprecedented high, particularly because of demand for asymptomatic patients.

"This country has done more tests - 17.6 million - than any other country in Europe."

Mr Johnson said it will increase to "500,000 tests a day by the end of October".

Mr Starmer said people were being left feeling anxious because they or their loved ones have Covid symptoms but are unable to get a test.

Starmer said: "I want it fixed. I don't need to have an argument"

He added: "Hundreds of families have tried to get a test in the last week and they can't get one.

"I do acknowledge the number of tests overall but this is basic stuff. People who have got Covid symptoms are very anxious about themselves, their children, their families and what to do.

"It means they can't go to work, they can't send their children to school, it matters. And if they can't get tests the Prime Minister needs to take responsibility."

Later, responding to a question from Jarrow Labour MP Kate Osborne, Mr Johnson again appeared to blame the public.

She said Jarrow, one of the government's areas of concern, her constituents were struggling to get a test.

The PM insisted the test and trace system was doing a "heroic" job

Mr Johnson replied: "I have every sympathy for those who want to get tests. The demand is very, very acute, partly because we have so many people who don't have symptoms who want a test.

"Our view is that priority should be for people who do have symptoms and the groups that I mentioned earlier.

"We will do everything we can to address the issues in Jarrow, and across the country."

Earlier, Mr Hancock attempted to shift the blame after people with coughs and fevers were told to travel more than 300 miles to get tested for Covid-19.

Yesterday an NHS testing director apologised and admitted that while test sites had capacity, there was a "pinch point" in labs processing the results.

Yet Mr Hancock - who has admitted it will take "weeks" to solve the problem - chose to point the finger at rising demand from asymptomatic people who, according to current rules, shouldn't be tested at all.

The Health Secretary insisted the test and trace system was "excellent" and claimed the problems were due to soaring demand from people not eligible for a test.

In most cases people should only get a coronavirus test if they have one of the three symptoms of Covid-19 - a cough, fever or loss of taste or smell.

Mr Hancock told Sky News: "In the last couple of weeks we've seen an increase in demand, including an increase in demand from people who are not eligible for tests, people who don't have symptoms.

"We've seen an increase of about 25% of people who are coming forward that don't have symptoms and aren't eligible."

Mr Hancock stressed that anyone with coronavirus symptoms must still get a test.