Fantasy author Sir Philip Pullman has said that the government 'should be arraigned on conspiracy to murder charges' if it is found Brexit negotiations hindered the procurement of PPE to fight coronavirus.

The government has previously said it was unable to join European Union schemes to procure PPE for healthcare workers because it did not receive an email invite. 

But in a critical essay for Penguin, Mr Pullman, the author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, said the 'front bench' should resign if it is found to be true that they refused to participate for 'Brexit-related reasons.' 

Last week it emerged that the UK missed opportunities to be part of the EU scheme to bulk-buy masks, gowns and gloves.

In a critical essay published by Penguin, the author of His Dark Materials said the entire front bench should resign if it is found to be true that MPs declined to participate "for Brexit-related reasons".

But Sir Philip predicted that no resignations would follow.

The essay concluded that the profound change of circumstances means we should now hold back on leaving the EU.

He wrote: "There are so many clear advantages to being in the EU, and the benefits of leaving are so tenuous and fanciful, that we must revisit the referendum and hope that this time the Labour Party under a new leader will play a proper part in the argument."