1/ I asked the Home Secretary today why the Covid border system had failed to stop multiple Delta cases entering UK & spreading across the country so we can learn lessons for future new variants.

She told me the system didn’t fail.
2/ I asked why India wasn’t put on red list earlier.

India cases were doubling in early April & NERVTAG recommended action on 16 April, so why did Government delay until 23 April?

Home Secretary told me “it is entirely wrong to suggest we delayed putting India on the red list”
3/ No one in the country thinks the Government’s border policy worked to stop the Delta variant spreading across the country. We can all see the evidence.

But if these are Government’s answers, how can we believe they’ll act any faster if there’s a worse new variant next time?

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More from @YvetteCooperMP

25 May
1/ Govt advice to people in Bolton/ Bedford/ Kirklees is utterly chaotic - no clarity & expecting people to restrict what they do all because Government failed to put India on the red list in time. Ministers should apologise to local communities they have let down.
2/ Complete confusion on whether Government thinks people should travel/ not travel, go to pub/ not go to pub/ carry on with weddings or not.

But Govt shd never have put our communities in this situation in the first place - should have acted way faster on the India variant
3/ Govt delay in putting India on red list meant new variant cases arriving in UK rose steeply until new restrictions came in. Clear that earlier action would have helped (Chart h/t @chrischirp )
Read 8 tweets
24 May
1/ Domestic abuse survivors are being denied justice by 6 month time limit on prosecuting common assault. Many obvious & serious reasons why survivors may take more time to report abuse. But time limit lets perpetrators off. Time to change #timeforjustice
2/ Women I’ve spoken to who showed incredible courage going to the police & ending abusive, violent relationships, still told that no action can be taken because it’s more than 6 months since assaults took place. Perpetrator gets away with it & can abuse again
3/ That’s why we have tabled a cross-party amendment to get justice for domestic abuse survivors. It would allow common assault charges in domestic abuse cases up to 6 months after reporting & up to 2 yrs after assault #NewClause60 #timeforjustice @womensaid @RefugeCharity #NC60
Read 5 tweets
14 May
1/ Government is now warning us about local lockdowns or delays lifting restrictions because of the India variant. But why did they let this happen?

Three times Government has made major errors on Covid border measures which worsened pandemic. Why don’t they learn?

A thread 👇🏼
2/ Spring 2020. Almost every other country in the world introduced proper border restrictions or quarantine. The UK did the opposite, lifting even the voluntary self-isolation guidance for some travellers on 13 March so we had nothing in place committees.parliament.uk/publications/2…
3/ In mid-March experts estimated that up to 10,000 Covid cases arrived in UK when we had no testing or quarantine in place. Sir Patrick Vallance said travellers returning from holidays in Europe led to a “big influx of cases” & meant pandemic accelerated
Read 9 tweets
24 Feb
99% of people arriving in country are not going into hotel quarantine. Evidence from Home Office to @CommonsHomeAffs this am. 15,000 people arriving a day. 150 go to hotels - only 1%. Majority can still go straight onto public transport home without being tested on arrival
Govt has no estimate on the number of people who comply fully with self isolation at home (other estimates range from 29% to 67%). And no figures on whether police are actually taking any enforcement action if people aren’t home when they check (they weren’t at all up til Dec) /2
Matters because we know South Africa & Brazil variants still spreading & new strains still emerging in many countries not on the red list.
Remember in 1st wave <1% of cases came to UK from China, 62% from people travelling back from France & Spain /3
Read 5 tweets
12 Feb
1/ what is going on at border? Am hearing there’s a perfect storm w lots of Border Force staff self isolating & more people returning from high risk countries before hotels. What is Govt/Heathrow doing to prevent arrivals hall being a super-spreader queue?
2/ This cd get worse. ISU say Border Force haven’t been given operational guidance on hotel arrangements for Mon. It's now 4.30 Fri! Say they don’t know if officers need to check high risk arrivals, if they'll go straight to hotels from gate or mix with everyone in passport queue
3/ So what arrangements are being made to make sure those from high risk countries going to hotels aren’t queuing with those about to get on the tube home? System is meant to start in couple of days and ISU says Border Force still haven't been told what to implement
Read 5 tweets
13 Jan
Asked PM at #LiaisonCommittee what Govt was doing to stop new South Africa variant spreading in the UK. Asked why people have been able to travel from SA to UK for last 4wks without being tested & can go on public transport.

PM didn’t know. Said he’d look at it ..1/6
PM told me pre-travel tests were coming in (Good)

But they arent in place yet (4 wks after we were warned on SA).

Other countries introduced those tests months ago. So I asked why the tests hadn’t been introduced in November as Spain, Greece & others did. No explanation ...2
PM refers to quarantine measures since 8 June. But @CommonsHomeAffs was told today of huge weaknesses in border & quarantine arrangements - 90% of passengers not even checked to see if they filled in the forms, even less follow up later on. Why wasn’t system strengthened? ...3
Read 6 tweets

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