Parliament’s returning tomorrow after the Easter recess, but in circumstances none of us could have imagined just a few weeks ago. As the coronavirus lockdown continues, we’ll be operating largely online with only a few MPs present, to enable the process, while the rest of us have been told to participate from home (read more here). After the new arrangements are agreed tomorrow, this ‘hybrid’ Parliament will start with online participation in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
A well as joining these online sessions, I’ve a lot of virtual meetings and I’ll be continuing with the huge amount of individual casework created by the crisis that has dominated the last couple of weeks – which has kept my great staff team busy throughout the recess.
I’ve got meetings with colleagues in the Shadow Cabinet Office team and the Shadow International Trade team, in which I’ll be working since being appointed as Labour’s Shadow Minister for Brexit and EU Negotiations (read more here). Along with other Sheffield MPs, I’ll also be meeting with the NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group later in the week – and with the Sheffield City Council Cabinet members and senior officers.
I’ll be joining a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary University Group, of which I’m Secretary, on the measures needed to protect the HE sector from the impact of coronavirus – and I’ll be talking to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, having already been in contact with the Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University.
Later in the week I’ll be joining a webinar organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration and Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX), of which I’m a trustee on ‘Britain’s Future Immigration Policy: Implications for Decent Work in Low-paid Sectors Confirmation’ – and on Thursday evening, in place of our normal monthly meeting, I’ve a zoom call with local Labour members.