Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:07 pm on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean 1:07 pm, 3rd March 2020

The Secretary of State will know there are two confirmed cases in Gloucestershire, and I put on record my thanks to the public health professionals who have dealt with those cases in a professional, calm and considered manner.

My specific question is about the action the Department for Work and Pensions will take for those members of the public who, whether because of business downturn or because of self-isolation, have to access the benefits system. Will frontline DWP staff and systems accommodate the fact that self-isolation, as the Secretary of State says, should be treated as an illness and that no inappropriate sanctions should be applied?