MP COLUMN: Government should rethink this farce

MPs need to hold ministers to account so they make better decisions on tackling the virus. I will support them wherever possible and oppose wherever necessary.

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 6:00 am
North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon.

But it is sadly clear, perhaps because the Prime Minister is still unwell, that ministers are making a horlicks out of it.

The Cummings affair is such a large mess it can probably be seen from space. It seems to be damaging compliance with the rules, vital to saving lives.

Forcing the return of the Commons is another major error.

Conservatives used to say that if something is not broken, don’t fix it.

Well, the hybrid parliament was working well. We successfully pioneered remote voting while Select Committees operated well online. We were obeying the rule that people should work from home if they can.

But Jacob Rees-Mogg unilaterally scrapped all that.

It’s unsafe for 650 MPs to criss-cross the country every week. It’s also dangerous for MPs to vote via a socially-distanced conga in the slipstream of their breaths.

I’m not just worried about MPs but those who come into contact with them. It would be disastrous if MPs became super-spreaders.

I am one of maybe 250 MPs who are restricted by the lockdown. My husband has incurable cancer and is very vulnerable.

The Tories seem to be putting their factional interests first by such blatant discrimination and what the cross-party procedure committee chaired by a former Conservative Cabinet minister says are "significant practical deficiencies."

The government should urgently rethink this ridiculous farce.

Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP