My primary responsibility as your local MP is trying to make sure the Government is doing the right thing.
It’s a fast-moving situation, but I am pressing the Government and Public Health England for clearer communication, and to take action to reduce pressures on our health services, which must be the priority right now.
In the two weeks before Parliament rose for the summer, I questioned the health secretary about data protection in the test and trace system, as there are worrying reports of people’s data being shared on social media
I supported the campaign group ExcludedUK in delivering petitions to the Treasury, calling on the Chancellor to close the gaps in the self-employed income support scheme which has excluded millions of self-employed people
I met (via videolink) with the DWP minister to urge him to bring forward promised changes in support for homeless young people and those leaving care.
I tabled a number of questions about the coronavirus response, asking ministers: who would pay for deep cleaning of schools when they re-open; and the role of private companies in providing PPE or test and trace operations, and whether they are delivering value for money.
I continue to question ministers about the response to the epidemic. You can read my parliamentary questions, and ministers' replies, here https://www.carolinelucas.com/latest/questions-to-ministers-about-coronavirus
Since this crisis began, I have:
- Raised the need for public health and other guidance to be widely available in an extensive range of community languages.
- Taken part in 1:1 briefings with Ministers and Public Health England leaders to discuss their response to the crisis and, when the first cases were identified in Brighton and Hove, to help ensure a timely joined up containment strategy and that the rights of the individuals concerned were properly upheld.
- Challenged the Secretary of State on the Department of Health’s use of racist language in relation to coronavirus and sought assurances that there will be no tolerance of the denigration and blaming of people in relation to the outbreak. (see https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2020-03-03c.760.0#g774.4)
- Called along with other Green colleagues for a Coronavirus Solidarity Pact to try to make extensive protections and security for the vulnerable a top Government priority and to ensure that the devolved bodies have proper input into decision making (see https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2020/03/14/greens-call-for-coronavirus-solidarity-pact/)
- Raised the importance of provisions to ensure that prisoners and others in detention receive the best possible protection and medical support during the crisis.
- Called for the release of all immigration detainees and for asylum seekers to have full recourse to public funds and the right to work.
- Asked questions about the Government’s palliative care plans during the crisis.