After last week’s chaotic voting arrangements in the Commons, this week starts with a debate on how Parliament should be operating. I’m not on the list of speakers and so, with only 50 MPs allowed in the Chamber to ensure social distancing, I won’t be there. I hope that the Government will see sense and allow remote voting to continue, along with online participation for shielding MPs.
Michael Gove should be making a Ministerial Statement on last week’s stalled negotiations on our future relationship with the EU, but he’s dodging scrutiny on which I’ve pressed him twice in my role as Shadow Minister for Brexit and EU Negotiations. As the Government try to row back from their election commitments on the deal with the EU, I set out Labour’s concerns in a debate last week.
I’ll be in Westminster for votes on Wednesday and for Cabinet Office Questions on Thursday, but all my meetings continue to be online. I’ve meetings of the Shadow Cabinet Office and International Trade teams, and I’ll be joining a discussion with our Culture, Media and Sport team on our approach to gambling companies, on which I’ve been campaigning.
Coronavirus obviously continues to dominate my time and I’ve local meetings with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, Sheffield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, the Director of Public Health and Council Officers. I’ll also be following up on my exchange with Boris Johnson last week on the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ rule, on which I’m working with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.