Covid Statement

5th October 2020

This continues to be a very difficult time for us all. I know many within our community are shielding and all of us are anxious about the threat of the virus and what the future holds. As your representative, my first duty is always to ensure that the most vulnerable within our area are protected. We must continue to be vigilant and follow the rules set out by the Government to contain the virus.

In the long-term, however, we have to learn to live with this virus. Here in Mid Norfolk we have seen this year both how damaging to our local economy, charities and to the health of many sick and elderly patients who have been denied treatment this Covid lockdown has been.  We have also seen how much better faster and more effectively our LOCAL Public Health and Councils can react than the Whitehall bureaucracy to tackle local outbreaks.  

I believe this autumn and winter we need a clearer Strategy based on the principles of: 

- protecting the most medically vulnerable 

- permitting as much economic activity as possible 

- targeting Testing and Tracing at the most essential Vulnerable and Key Workers 

- allowing LOCAL authorities to manage local outbreaks as far as possible before national measures

We can’t continue the cycle of lockdown, lifting restrictions and then locking down again indefinitely. As a former entrepreneur, I know all local businesses need as much certainty as possible. They have to know if they can stay open without the risk of being closed down again at a moment’s notice.

That’s why we need proper parliamentary scrutiny of new laws that affect all our lives. It is why I have put my name to the Brady Amendment. Brexit was about taking back control and making Parliament sovereign. It’s crucial that we start to show that promise was real. Laws restricting all our basic liberties need to be scrutinised properly in the House of Commons. That’s what MPs are for and that’s what the Brady Amendment is trying to achieve.

Many have also criticised the Government’s response. I absolutely understand the frustration and anger at the restrictions that have been imposed on our daily lives. However, in a time of national emergency, I believe we do need to work together. Armchair critics benefit no one. In January this was all new. Now we have learned. Norfolk did really well to avoid a crisis in our Care Homes. Everyone is doing their best. This has to be a team effort in order to pull through and get things back to normal.

This autumn, however, I believe we do need to find a new approach. We need as much social and economic freedom as we can safely have while looking after the most vulnerable. We cannot continue to lock students down in their rooms, close off the economy and risk mass unemployment for a generation. Together with other MPs, I am calling on the Government to put in place a response that protects the vulnerable but is also proportionate with the risks.

Rest assured, I will always continue to fight for your concerns and raise all issues with the relevant Ministers and Departments. I also want to praise our NHS staff, emergency workers and police for all they are doing to help protect us.

To see the latest and most up to date Covid guidelines, please visit the Government website here: 


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