There are continued reports of witnesses coming forward to say they saw Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s senior adviser, near Durham on 19 April. These claims contradict the account Dominic Cummings provided of his movements during lockdown. He is on the record saying he was in London on that day.
As we adjust to a new normal of wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, I’m mindful about the impact on deaf people and individuals who are hard of hearing who often depend on lip-reading in their daily life.
As face coverings are likely to be with us for a long time, it’s important we are aware of some of the new barriers this may create and how we can best mitigate these.
I’m proud at how Hackney, and everyone involved with the NHS in Hackney, has pulled together during this public health emergency. Never has it been more apparent that it is the tireless and unwavering commitment of frontline staff that helps keep our NHS going. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the 1.3 million-strong army of nurses, midwives, doctors, physios, pharmacists, healthcare and maternity care assistants, porters, cleaners, and countless other staff who ensure that our NHS is there for every patient that needs it.
The Government’s track record of muddled messaging and confused guidance continues. Click here to see my latest statement.
Also the Public Accounts Committee called out the Government's reckless and negligent approach to social care. And good news for ISS key workers at Homerton Hospital.
It's absolutely right that public health comes first but Government communication has been chaotic and this week particularly so. It's confusing for us all and will hit hard businesses that were expecting to reopen on the 1st August.
The Government needs to be clear and definite in its message when it makes a decision. It cannot announce a decision and then make up the details on the hoof.
What we've had is a PM who shifts from over-optimistic and ridiculous phrases like "we’ll beat this virus" to the more cautious tone of recent days.
A number of constituents contacted me calling for the Government to set up a food standards commission ahead of post-Brexit trade talks. I wrote to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and received this response from the Minister for the Department.
I’m pleased the Government has agreed, in principle, to a food standards commission. I will continue pressing the Government to keep its commitment to high food standards in any post-Brexit trade deal.
The Public Accounts Committee published a report this week calling out the Government for not considering, in its pandemic preparation exercises, that a pandemic would also have an economic impact. A competent government does not run a country on the hoof and it explains the many gaps in support in the Government's economic packages. I’ll continue standing up for the forgotten freelancers and self-employed. The Public Accounts Committee has called on the Government to write back by the 1 September with its plan for what it will do if there is a second spike.
The Public Accounts Committee published a report on the Government’s response and preparedness for the pandemic. I was astounded that the most senior civil servant (Permanent Secretary) at the Treasury, Tom Scholar, conceded that the economic implications of a pandemic were not considered during pandemic preparations in 2016.
Failure to plan is planning to fail. Read the full report here.
At today’s statement on the Windrush Lessons Learned review, I challenged the Home Secretary to remove the barriers for citizenship for young people who've been in the UK since childhood.
They are passionate about the country that is their home.
I’ll keep pressing the Government to learn the lessons from the Windrush scandal.