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Alex Sobel Asks on Behalf of Constituents at Prime Ministers Questions


Alex Sobel has today asked a question at Prime Ministers Questions.


The MP for Leeds North West has been successful in the ‘shuffle’ for the first time since his election in June 2017 and today stood up in the House of Commons to directly challenge the Government on Brexit. The Prime Minister was today deputised by David Lidington MP.


Whilst this was his first appearance at Prime Minister’s questions, this is not the first time Alex Sobel has challenged the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. Last autumn, he questioned Theresa May on the wisdom of her Brexit agreement.


In deciding his question, Mr Sobel decided to do something a bit different. Instead of choosing the question himself, or choosing one recommended by the front bench of his party, he decided to put the choice out to his constituents, posting a form on his website and allowing visitors of his Facebook page, alongside community pages from across the constituency, to enter their suggestions.


After hundreds of suggestions Alex Sobel asked “My constituent Rachel wrote to me saying ‘my husband can't live day to day without insulin. He's trying to build up a supply by putting in prescriptions early, but there are limits to how much he can order and keep, and we have no idea how bad this could get. I'm also worrying about my son, who has serious food intolerances. I lie awake at night worrying about it.’


As the Minister knows 99.5% of insulin used in the UK is made in the EU and that’s the tip of the iceberg. The Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House all say that we need extra time. When will the Government allow our constituents to sleep at night and announce a delay to Article 50?


Deputising for the Prime Minister, David Lidington responded with, “Obviously if there are concerns about a particular case then the relevant Health Minister would be happy to discuss it with the honourable gentleman, but his more general point about the supplies of insulin, as part of sensible contingency planning, my Right Honourable Friend the Health Secretary and his department have been talking to the suppliers of insulin and other key medicines and treatment to ensure that supplies will remain available to patients who need them, whatever the outcome of the current Brexit negotiations.”


Speaking later Mr Sobel said; “I am pleased to have been able to ask this very poignant question on behalf of Rachel as not only has this been a difficult situation for her and her family but speaks to the worries of many of my constituents. I promised in my election that the voice of Leeds North West would be heard and by asking my constituents for their input, I believe that voice to be have heard loud and clear by the Government.


I can assure everyone that has asked a question that I have read their concerns. There were many touching stories and lots of very interesting and poignant questions to choose from. I thank them all for that. I hope that they keep in touch so that I can represent them and their views both in Parliament and locally.”

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