Getting On with the Work of Parliament

We are all suffering from lockdown fatigue but it is important to keep following the advice of Public Health England and to stay home as much as we possibly can. Parliament is not sitting at the moment but MPs are still working on numerous coronavirus cases. In the past few weeks my staff have concentrated on getting numerous constituents who found themselves stranded abroad and helping them to get back home. We have also had a number of businesses who were having trouble accessing the necessary cash flow through banks that the Chancellor has provided for in his Budget.

Though working remotely instead of in the office or through face-to-face surgeries, we are keeping up normal business as best we can. Constituents who have cases that are in need of particular attention can still get in touch via our office phone number of 02072196480 or, if they prefer, can contact me via email on edward.leigh.mp@parliament.uk.

The work of Parliament must go on, even more so during a crisis such as this. Select committees are already meeting virtually and the House of Commons is making preparations to meet remotely if necessary. One of the most important roles of Parliament is to scrutinise the Government of the day, and this is all the more important during times of crisis.

The response of the Prime Minister, the Health Secretary, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been tremendous, but we MPs are in constant contact with people all around the United Kingdom and are well placed to ask the questions and highlight the priorities that are off the radar of our London-based media who continue to grill ministers through press conferences.

If Parliament is not in session, I would prefer if at least a special temporary select committee of MPs is created to question ministers specifically on the coronavirus and the situation on the ground.

This crisis has also given us ample opportunity to reassess what is of real importance and to re-evaluate our priorities. Britain has a long list of heroes and heroines from the warriors of Agincourt to Florence Nightingale's field hospitals, but our doctors and nurses today are deserving of particular praise. But there are many others who through doing their everyday jobs in extraordinary circumstances are worth praising as well. I think of postmen and shop workers, of farmers and food workers, of the myriad people involved the logistical supply chains that, even under lockdown, keep our country alive, healthy, and fed.

We should also be grateful for the example of the Queen who reminded us the other day that her first broadcast was during the Second World War. Times like ours show that her continuity, wisdom, and experience is priceless.