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Coronavirus Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:52 pm on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Paymaster General 7:52 pm, 23rd March 2020

I am sorry, but I am very short of time.

Other hon. Members have mentioned businesses, with examples of good practice and, I am afraid, bad practice. That needs to be called out. My right hon. Friend Theresa Villiers spoke about care homes and, obviously, policy is under review but we have to find the right balance between giving those individuals mental health and social support and keeping them safe.

Bill Esterson mentioned sick pay and what further support we could give to caseworkers and so on. The DWP is looking at training and teach-ins for citizens advice bureaux, caseworkers and others so that we can ensure that as these initiatives come out they are well understood.

In the short time I have left, I must pay tribute to my hon. Friend Robert Largan on his maiden speech. As the Opposition spokesman pointed out, Louise and Terry, as I believe they are known, are no doubt watching on television and I am sure that the whole House will want to send them our best wishes as they follow the chief medical officer’s advice and to let them know that their son has done very well for himself. He was absolutely right to acknowledge—I know that Members understand this—that we are in a very privileged position compared with many people, and I know that that is in everyone’s thoughts as we consider our own personal response to this situation.

Chris Bryant rightly raised the matter of people’s behaviour. My hon. Friend Steve Brine also mentioned that this is not a new issue, and that we have trained very heavily.

I am sorry to disappoint hon. Members. I have the issues they have raised in front of me and I will say more about them, including the issue of funerals, in Committee. I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time; to stand committed to a Committee of the whole House (Order, this day).

Further proceedings on the Bill stood postponed (Order, this day).