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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:53 pm on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central 5:53 pm, 16th March 2020

It is a great pleasure to follow Lia Nici. She conveyed her passion and commitment to her constituents and her constituency. We on the Labour Benches remember her predecessor, Melanie Onn, with great affection and we are grateful to the hon. Member for mentioning her. On behalf of the whole House, I wish her all the very best in her endeavours in this House. She has made a powerful maiden speech on this important occasion.

This is a Budget debate, yet, as the Chancellor and many other Members have acknowledged, the only issue at the front of people’s minds at the moment is coronavirus. I know that families are concerned about their children and schools, I know that small businesses are worried about their survival, and I know that carers are very concerned about the elderly. We now have 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Yorkshire. I take this opportunity to reassure my constituents in South Yorkshire that the best preparations are being made to keep them safe. For that reason I will not be able to attend the winding-up speeches later, Madam Deputy Speaker, for which I apologise. I need to be in regular contact with our public health directors and the local resilience forum to ensure that our public services have the support they need.

Last week, we convened a taskforce of the Sheffield city—[Interruption.]