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Coronavirus update Wednesday 3rd June

Updated: Jul 26, 2023


PHE Review People from ethnic minorities are at a higher risk of dying from coronavirus, a report by Public Health England says. There is a social gradient in health. The poorest and most deprived have inequality in access to healthcare, and inequality in health outcomes. This review confirms what we already knew – that racial and health inequalities amplify the risks of Covid-19. Those in the poorest households and people of colour are disproportionately harmed. Black, Asian and minority ethnic people are more likely to die from Covid and more likely to be admitted to intensive care. But when it comes to the question of how we reduce these disparities, it is silent. It presents no recommendations. Having the information is a start – but now is the time for action. The government must not wait any longer to mitigate the risks faced by these communities. The Government must act immediately to protect black, Asian and minority ethnic people so that no more lives are lost.

Recall of Parliament

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s discriminatory proposals would result in two classes of MPs. Those who can attend and those unable to owing to the government’s own rules. This includes those with an underlying health condition or shielding responsibilities. The abolition of the hybrid remote parliament which allowed all MPs to take part is discriminatory.It would not be acceptable in any other workplace. Labour remain ready to work with the government and all parties to reach a consensus that would allow all MPs to take part on an equal basis.

Sick pay

We all want to give the test and trace scheme the best chance of succeeding so the country can begin to  ease lockdown and get the economy back on its feet. But without giving businesses the support they need to make sure employees can self-isolate, we risk further distress. The government should extend statutory sick pay to businesses that rely on face-to-face contact. They have already done this before, with the Job Retention Scheme. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed that our social security system is a safety net with too many holes in. The eligibility criteria for statutory sick pay has the same gaps.If they are not filled, the Government will expect a cohort of people to make an impossible choice between isolating or providing food. The government must consider how it can available emergency support for people in this situation. If they don’t they will risk the success of the scheme and pushing those who do comply but cannot work as a result, into further hardship. This must be part of an consideration of our levels of support as a country. Even the Health Minister himself has admitted that he could not survive on the current rate of statutory sick pay.

Black Lives Matter You will be aware of the current civil rights protests taking place in the US. Which began following the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died pleading for air. The reaction of the protesters was not of an isolated incident. It follows decades of police brutality and the murders of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and too many more. The Independent reported that the UK supplies the US with tear gas, riot shields and rubber bullets. These are all items which police are currently using against civil rights protesters.The US President endorsed the police response. This response has seen crowds of people rammed with cars, the shooting and arresting of journalists on live television. Our Government’s own rules state that exports should not be used for “internal repression.” But Records show that the Government granted export licences for millions of pounds worth of “riot equipment.” This is greatly concerning to me. I have submitted questions in Parliament to the International Trade Secretary on this issue. Labour has demanded we halt all riot gear sales to the US. Black Lives Matter.


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