MPs in Westminster could become virus ‘superspreaders’

MPs could become coronavirus "superspreaders" and they should not "put themselves at risk", the Commons Speaker has warned.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 7:00 am
Lindsay Hoyle has warned of the Covid risks
Lindsay Hoyle has warned of the Covid risks

Sir Lindsay Hoyle urged parliamentarians to look after themselves to ensure they are "here for the long-term".

He also suggested he supports moving to virtual proceedings.

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He told Times Radio: "What we have got to watch out, (is that) MPs could easily become superspreaders because they come from all parts of the country...

"Whatever happens, people's lives matter most, their health comes first and people with certain medical conditions, people of a certain age - I'm saying you've got to look after yourself.

"My advice - and it's advice not instructions - is to say put yourself first, look after yourself and make sure you are here for the long-term ... do not put yourself at risk - that's either travelling or coming into this building."

The Speaker said it is up to the House to decide whether to move back to an almost virtual Parliament.But asked what he would do if it was his decision, he said: "I would say let's look at it straight away and let's start to move to a new place."

Sir Lindsay also lambasted MP Margaret Ferrier, who had the SNP whip withdrawn after travelling while awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test.

He said: "What she did was absolutely ridiculous. It was extraordinary to put everybody at risk when she travelled.

"But also she came into this building, putting others at risk. And that's not acceptable. That's bad behaviour.

"That was the mistake - that was absolutely disgraceful and reckless to all of us. And that's the kind of thing I don't want to happen.

"And I've got to say, we've not, as far as I'm aware, and I check all the tags, we've not seen that repeated, the one thing we have is probably the best Track and Trace in the country in Parliament."