Two COVID-19 variants of concern (one first identified in India and the other first identified in South Africa) have been found in parts of Shoreditch and Dalston. 

If you live or work in these parts and are over the age of 16, please get a COVID-19 PCR test even if you do not have any symptoms.

The affected areas are parts of Shoreditch (around Old Street and Great Eastern Street) and parts of Dalston town centre, (around Dalston Lane and Kingsland High Street). Find out if you live in an affected area by clicking here.  

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The Government needs a coherent approach to ID cards – not just an approach that stops the poorest from voting.

See my full speech on this here.

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The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the membership organisation for nurses and midwives, has extended the deadline for the RCN Nursing Awards 2021.

The RCN Nursing Awards 2021 are your chance to help a nurse, midwife, health visitor, or nursing support worker get the recognition he/she deserves. 

You now have until the 24 May to nominate someone for the Patient's Choice award. Nominate here and see here for further details.

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Busy week in the lead up to prorogation. There was good news with the Domestic Abuse Bill becoming law. But the bad news is that the Government, once again, rejected proposals to protect leaseholders from cladding costs.

Also this week, the Electoral Commissionn announced an investigation into Conservative Party over the funding for the renovation of the Prime Minister's Downing Street flat. And the Public Accounts Committee held a meeting on the Culture Recovery Fund. 

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COVID-19 forced the closure of museums, galleries, cinemas, music venues, nightclubs, theatres, arts centres, archives and heritage sites from the 23 March 2020, with many not due to reopen until summer 2021. Even when they can reopen they are likely to have reduced visitor capacity. The Government’s answer to supporting these cultural institutions and businesses was the Culture Recovery Fund. This was a £1.57 billion fund of grants and loans designed to support only 75 per cent of these struggling businesses and organisations.

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This week the Public Accounts Committee questioned the most senior Treasury officials about their contact with David Cameron and Lex Greensill. This is just the beginning of our work on lobbying and the Greensill scandal - we’ll be working closely with our sister select committees to pursue this issue. See here to watch a recording of the session. 
 

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Today at the Public Accounts Committee, I questioned the most senior civil servant at the Treasury about Greensill and lobbying.

See here to watch the hearing in full 

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This week I've been working with my frontbench Labour colleagues to press the Government over lobbying and the Greensill scandal. I challenged a Minister at an Urgent Question (see here) and I voted in favour of a parliamentary inquiry to get to the bottom of this. The Government's majority meant this initiative was defeated but the Public Accounts Committee will be investigating alongside other select committees. See my round-up for further details. 

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