Covid-19 Secure Marshals - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:51 pm on 15th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Harris of Haringey Lord Harris of Haringey Labour 12:51 pm, 15th September 2020

My Lords, this is the latest flight of fantasy from No. 10, designed to distract attention from the manifold failures of the response to the coronavirus: the lockdown that came too late now being lifted too fast; the “world-beating” test system which is not. There is no news on whether these marshals, who will be acting with the Prime Minister’s authority in the community, will be DBS-checked, or whether they will have proper PPE. They may be spat at; they may need stab vests. Is it correct that no money is being provided for this—though the Daily Telegraph tells us that they are going to be paid £30,000 a year—and that these marshals will have no powers to enforce anything? The Minister cannot tell us how many there will be or when they will arrive. Can he tell us how they will differ from phantom armies deployed by a deranged despot from his bunker as everything collapses around him?