Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:44 pm on 22nd October 2020.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 2:44 pm, 22nd October 2020

Given the numbers who are interested in the debate and given that I have enjoyed the indulgence of the House now for four days in a row—I am not sure what I will do next week; I might just come here and make a speech for the sake of it—I will try to be brief. I also apologise to the House, because I have a long-standing commitment and so I will not be here for the wind-ups. I apologise to the House for that discourtesy on this occasion. I have spoken to Mr Speaker about it, and he understands the particular circumstances.

I noticed that the Secretary of State has updated the House on Slough, Stoke-on-Trent and Coventry, but he did not mention anything about Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire, and he will know that they are candidates that are widely speculated as the next to go into the tier 3 lockdown restrictions. For example, in parts of Nottinghamshire, localised infection rates are 370 per 100,000 in Gedling and 362 per 100,000 in Rushcliffe. In West Yorkshire, the rate is 307 per 100,000 in Wakefield and in Calderdale. Given that, he must be considering the future of West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

I am just aware that we are going into the parliamentary recess. I do not know whether I can invite the Secretary of State to say anything now, because Members from those areas will be concerned that with Parliament not sitting next week, they might not have an opportunity to put their points to him or get their points on the record. If he does not want to say anything now, it would be important if the Minister of State could offer some reassurance to people in those parts of the world as to what might be happening.