I am supporting the Government tonight on all plan B measures except for the use of covid vaccination passports and the compulsory vaccination of all frontline NHS staff.
First and foremost I would like to urge everyone who has not been vaccinated to take up the offer of the first, second and booster jabs if they can. This is the only way we can fight the spread of this dreadful disease and the emerging variants.
However at a time when the NHS is under increasing pressure, and given the remarkable performance of our NHS staff to date in the fight against Covid, I cannot support the compulsory vaccination of frontline staff. In particular given the pressure on the NHS in other areas, I cannot understand why if absolutely necessary, trained staff cannot be redeployed. I certainly cannot support the termination of employment contracts without suitable compensation.
As far as covid passports are concerned, I am yet to see comprehensive evidence that this is the only way forward and am concerned about the impact this will have on many parts of our economy that have only just started to come out of a very difficult 18 months. I am also concerned about the mental health and well-being of constituents and think more could be done to strike the right balance between caution and activity.
On these two points unfortunately, Government have not got it right and I will be voting accordingly.