Point of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:10 pm on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Shadow Minister (Home Office) 2:10 pm, 22nd September 2020

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last Monday, after speculation about Merseyside being placed into a local lockdown, I contacted Ministers at the Department of Health and Social Care to ask for a briefing for me and other MPs in the region. I contacted their offices directly, by telephone and email, every day last week and had no reply or even acknowledgement.

As you will know, Mr Speaker, on Friday, news of a lockdown in large parts of the north-west was released by the Government to the media and the public. Hundreds of my constituents and, I expect, yours, were in touch over the weekend. I still had not received contact of any kind from the Department until I was offered a meeting yesterday, days after the announcement, which was frankly neither use nor ornament.

I realise that we have suspended normal practices in the House, but I had not realised that we had ended established courtesies. Could you advise how I and many other hon. and right hon. Members might get the Government to understand that MPs want to assist in communicating the importance of these vital messages to our constituents, but that, if we do not know what they are, we cannot?