A Tory MP has expressed fears the Government faces “losing trust” over unclear messages on coronavirus testing, the day after the UK saw its biggest increase in deaths during the pandemic.

Beckenham MP Bob Stewart added increased measures are desperately required “so that we can battle (the virus) more effectively” and called for the Government to urgently share plans for widespread testing with the public.

The former British Army Colonel, who came under fire after referring to coronavirus as “the foul Chinese illness” in a since-amended social media post over the weekend, called for immediate action from No 10 on Thursday.

“Although I praise the Government highly for its general approach to tackling this huge problem it scores poorly when I look at the number of people who have been tested so far. Compared with other countries, like Germany, we are miles behind,” he said in a post published on his social media.

“At the moment I am afraid the Government, through its daily news conference in 10 Downing Street, is losing trust by not being clear on this matter.”

He added cabinet ministers giving daily briefings “must be accurate about numbers of people being tested, give a believable forecast of how we will be doing in the immediate future and must directly answer questions put to them by journalists”.

“After all, ministers are not being held to account by a sitting Parliament at the moment,” he said.

It comes as the Government faces growing pressure to ramp-up testing rates, after Boris Johnson declared in March that 25,000 tests a day would soon be rolled out.

However, the start of April has seen the Government fall well short of that goal, with around 13,000 a day currently being conducted according to the BBC.

It comes as 563 coronavirus deaths were recorded in the UK on Wednesday, taking the total 2352.

Mr Stewart, a former United Nations commander in Bosnia, said although he was “no NHS expert” he “had some experience of devising plans in my life”.

“Urgently we need a Coronavirus Testing Plan publicly declared so that we get more confidence in what is being done,” he said.

He suggested the immediate aim should see NHS staff and other emergency staff tested, with “the first task…to protect those who are looking after us”.

He added if “the ground and situation (were) explained honestly the plan could then get to the really important bit which is future action”.

Mr Stewart said he would be “very surprised” if the Government did not have such a plan already, “but, as we are all in it together, personally I would like to know what that is?”

“There is surely nothing classified as Secret in such a plan,” he said.

“The main points of it could be outlined at the daily 10 Downing Street briefing. Why not do that tonight?”