MP COLUMN: We still have a tough long road ahead

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Peaceful New Year. 2021 has got off to a difficult start for us all as a new lockdown has been announced amidst a dramatic rise in cases over the festive period.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 7:00 am
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck.

This lockdown was announced in a dangerously reckless fashion, as the PM U-turned on his claims just days earlier that schools were safe, leaving many scrambling for answers.

This included those working in early years settings such as childminders and nurseries, who were told to stay open despite schools being shut. My office was flooded with questions and concerns on Tuesday morning from confused constituents working in early years about what was expected of them.

As a result, I held an emergency zoom call on Wednesday night to hear their concerns and find out what I could do to support them.

But they were not the only people to contact my office seeking advice by a long way, as the government’s alarmingly poor messaging throughout the pandemic continues to leave us all baffled.

We are all given hope by the vaccination program which, if delivered efficiently and with speed, could be a key out of this crisis.

I will be doing everything I can to ensure this does not become another in the long list of Johnsonian blunders this pandemic has seen.

But this is also not an excuse to not offer proper support until then. We still have a long tough road ahead, and the government needs to be held to account at every step.

Ian Lavery, Wansbeck MP