House of Commons vote on ‘Plan B’ COVID19 regulations – here is how I voted and why!

 The first thing I would like to say is that I know a lot of people are angry about the Downing Street Christmas parties, I am too! But we must not let that get in the way of us doing the right thing now.

The health and well being of people in Newcastle Central is my absolute priority.

But that does not mean mandatory vaccines or vaccine passports. I want everyone to get vaccinated, but

I recognise that some people can’t and others chose not to.  That’s why Labour argued with the Government so The vote is on Covid passes –  either vaccination status or proof of a negative lateral flow test for mass gatherings where there is a greater risk because of the number of people attending.

Now I know some people feel that is too much of an imposition on their rights. I respectively disagree.

I was brought up in the great, Geordie tradition of solidarity that grew out of   the harsh working and economic conditions of our history, looking out for each other, doing what we need to do to keep our families and our communities going.

Wearing a mask or taking a free lateral flow test, that isn’t too much to ask to shield the vulnerable, to help keep our school kids learning, to help our wonderful Newcastle night life stay open, and protect jobs.

I am not happy about the requirement for health workers to be vaccinated. They are the heroes who have done so much and worked so hard often with so little reward, and particularly, black and minority ethnic workers who may have  little trust in the health or Government establishment.

But with 200,000 infections per day, Omicron is such a challenge to our health service just as we were beginning to hope to get back to something like normality we do need to protect people in hospital – and Government must work with the royal colleges, NHS providers and trade unions to make this possible

These are difficult decisions but I am trying to act in accordance with my conscious and the interests of my constituents.

Thank you

Chi also said:

I will be supporting the science, not the Government, and voting for these additional measures in the national interest to keep us all safe, protect the NHS & our economy.

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