On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The last year has been difficult for so many people at work, and as our constituents’ lives have been thrown into uncertainty by covid, our staff teams have been dealing with more cases than ever. In my office, our workload has increased by over 300%. That is why I was so frustrated, to put it mildly, to read about a study by King’s College London, which sent fake casework to MPs, including me, to test how efficiently our staff responded. Our small but wonderful teams are working all the hours they can to answer genuine constituents’ concerns. It is unacceptable that people faked being constituents, and took up time that could have been spent helping real people. Our time is paid for by the taxpayer, and this is a gross exploitation of that. It is unethical, it is a waste of taxpayers’ money, and it shows a complete lack of understanding of the pressures on our offices’ resources a year into a global pandemic.
Madam Deputy Speaker, could you please advise me on how I can put on record my thanks to MPs’ staff across the House at this busy, stressful time, including GMB and Unite staff branch members, and could you please advise the House on how we can ensure that our staff’s time and public funds are not wasted like this again?