Last week saw Keir Starmer’s (and everyone else’s) first virtual Prime Minister’s Questions and this week we continue with this hybrid approach – with a handful of MPs in the Commons and most participating online. MPs are being strongly discouraged from attending Parliament in person, so I will continue to operate remotely.
Although strange, it is hugely important that we can continue to scrutinise the Government during this crisis and today I’ve been drawn to question the Chancellor after his economic update – I’m number 37 on the list of speakers, but hope to get the chance to pressing him on one of the issues I’ve raised with him on the coronavirus measures over the last few weeks.
Before that I’ll be observing the Select Committee on the Future Relationship with the EU questioning Michael Gove on the virtual talks that took place last week. As Labour’s Shadow Minister for Brexit and EU Negotiations, I’ll also be joining colleagues in the Shadow Cabinet Office team and the Shadow International Trade team.
On Thursday I’ll be opening a meeting to discuss a Sheffield-Nablus partnership, developing friendship and practical links between our cities, which arises from the delegation I led to the West Bank a couple of years ago. We had been due to welcome representatives from Nablus to Sheffield but are going ahead with a zoom meeting.
Also this week, I’ve one of my regular meetings with Sheffield’s Director of Public Health and other Council officials on coronavirus, catching up with the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University to talk about the pressures the higher education sector is facing as a result of the crisis, joining a trustees meeting of Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX), and attending a meeting of the cross-party Make Votes Matter campaign for proportional representation.