I’m grateful for the opportunity to put forward my amendments this afternoon and to support several others.
Thank you Mme Deputy/Mr Speaker.
At times of crisis, it’s true the Opposition should be constructive.
But we must also speak the truth – and the truth is that the Government’s handling of this crisis has been a disaster.
The Public Inquiry, which will inevitably happen, will have no shortage of material to consider:
Economic recovery, nature & risk of future pandemics
The Coronavirus crisis has changed everything. It has reminded us who and what really matters in our lives. It has laid bare the profound weaknesses of an economy which has systematically eroded our collective social immune system. It has taught us that many things we were told were impossible or unrealistic, are possible.
The government can house homeless people, fund the NHS, provide an income for people who aren’t able to work and write off billions in public debt overnight.
The closure of colleges and universities because of Covid-19 has hit students hard. Many have been in touch with me, desperately worried about the situation they find themselves in, through no fault of their own.
I had my first real taste of being a “virtual MP” last week, when I questioned Matt Hancock during health questions in the Commons. I have been pushing for a recall of Parliament since the beginning of this month, so was very glad when the Speaker and the parliamentary digital teams managed to facilitate this, with dozens of MPs joining via video link. I wrote about the experience in the i-paper.
PPS to the Secretary of State, Department for Transport
April 2nd, 2020
I have called on the Government to adopt the advice of the World Health Organisation on community-based testing and contact-tracing to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 and as a precondition for any relaxation of the lockdown.
The First Minister of State, Dominic Raab, has set out five conditions for the lifting of the lockdown but they do not include the clear WHO advice that health systems must have the capacity to “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact”.
HOW COMMUNITY-BASED SCHEMES COULD HELP
Dear First Minister of State
Coronavirus – Immediate Virtual Recall of Parliament
We are writing to you as a cross party and crossbench group of MPs and peers to call for an immediate (virtual) recall of parliament.
I've written to the Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about what needs to happen to ensure everyone has access to nutritious food, smaller food shops are supported alongside supermarkets, and how we shift to a sustainable, resilient and healthy food system
Dear Secretary of State,