My MP has been relatively proactive at helping constituents with government advice during the Covid19 pandemic so, due to poor judgement by a government adviser and some jaw dropping ministerial tweets defending that lapse in judgement, I emailed Paul Holmes earlier to ask him to clarify the rules. (See below.)
Since then the Prime Minister has also, very publicly, defended behaviour which clearly goes against the rules and displayed a shocking lack of common sense by someone who should have known better.
I have been incredibly lucky so far, with a good employer and no close family or friends being seriously ill, or worse. Nevertheless, things haven’t always been easy, and there is no end to the pandemic in sight.
We have all made sacrifices in order to protect one another and the Prime Minister is taking us for fools by not apologising for the behaviour of his adviser.
What’s worse is that his, and his ministers’, attempts to defend a clear breach of the guidelines, puts us all at risk at a critical point in tackling the virus.
I sincerely hope he considers his position carefully.
Dear Paul Holmes,
I know you have made efforts to communicate help and advice to your constituents during the Covid19 pandemic so far, including working closely with the local council, which I appreciate.
Unfortunately a large number of your colleagues, including ministers, have chosen to undermine the government’s own rules by defending an adviser who has broken those rules.
The defence offered is offensive. My wife and I have worried a great deal about how we would look after our daughter should we become ill. My wife has only recently been contacted to tell her she is extremely vulnerable, and I was diagnosed with a life threatening disease last year, but we have still never considered driving any distance to put family members and others at risk if we did exhibit symptoms.
This is a particularly critical point in tackling the virus as the government tries to ease restrictions. The rules in this phase are necessarily going to be more complex than the previous stay at home message and it is difficult to see how we are meant to take any new rules seriously when the government does not appear to be serious about enforcing them.
The country can ill afford another distraction now after delays and distraction at the beginning of the outbreak look likely to have caused many unnecessary deaths.
Please could you urgently work with the council and other organisations in Eastleigh to publicly clarify what the rules are when someone in a household exhibits Covid19 symptoms, and what support and resources are available to them in case they believe that travelling to another location is justified.
I realise you will be under immense political pressure to put your party first, however I would also like you to consider following your neighbouring colleague’s example in speaking out and ask the government why it considers that different rules should apply to government advisers.