Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, last night called for MPs to have a greater say on Government powers in the Coronavirus Act. Speaking in a House of Commons debate on Coronavirus, Mr Wiggin said:
“Parliament granted the Government emergency powers, which at the time was a sensible course of action. Six months on, things have changed. The NHS has been saved and Parliament is sitting.
The press report further covid plans that, as a Conservative, I find possibly draconian, curtailing freedoms, but I am sure we would give parliamentary approval for life-saving precautions.”
Mr Wiggin also called for an early rollout of vaccines that are in the final steps of the regulatory approvals process, saying:
“Vaccines for covid-19 are the key to eliminating the virus. The faster one is distributed, the more likely we are to protect the most vulnerable in our society, and that is the area we should be working on. Do we really need to wait till the end of the year?
The Government have been right to pre-book the vaccines: 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca and University of Oxford vaccine, 30 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which is the next one in evaluation stage 3—we should have doses by the end of 2020 for that—and 60 million doses from a company called Valneva, whose vaccine will be provided in the second half of 2021.”
Mr Wiggin closed by praising the Government’s work on vaccine development, but called on them to restore parliamentary democracy and to offer hope, saying: “In these difficult times, my constituents want hope. After the sacrifices they have made, the vaccines that we have funded and the lives that have been saved, we all deserve it.”
To read the full debate in Hansard click here.
To watch Bill’s speech in full click here and go to 19:43 on the agenda for Monday 28th September.