Covid Commons: MPs Warned 114 Cases Detected In Parliament In A Month

·3-min read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images) (Photo: House of Commons - PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images) (Photo: House of Commons - PA Images via Getty Images)

The full scale of parliament’s coronavirus breakout can be revealed, with more than 100 cases recorded in a month. 

An email to MPs, seen by HuffPost UK, said there had been 114 cases identified between October 4 to November 5 with links to the parliamentary estate.

It comes after the science minister George Freeman revealed he had suffered a “bad attack” of covid and Labour leader Keir Starmer returned to work after testing positive for the virus. 

Last week this website reported on how events, tours and banquets were shut down last week because of a Covid outbreak in parliament. 

Watch: Total number of UK COVID cases hits 9,333,891

Now a fresh email from the authorities reveals they were forced to take “swift action” after the UK Health Security Agency advised that the Covid-19 risk on the estate had increased.

The new warning reveals that over three weeks from October 15 to November 4 there was a total of 92 cases detected. 

“The number of cases identified during October are significantly higher than those seen in September,” the email said. 

The memo reiterated that banqueting and tours were cancelled but MPs could still bring in up to six guests for business reasons. 

“Please do not bring in guests for social purposes,” the email added. 

Signalling possible further measures in the Houses of Parliament, the email said a “review” would take place this week. 

The email also asked MPs and staff to test twice a week and report any positive cases to the internal test and trace system. 

Jawad Raza, from the FDA union for senior civil servants, told HuffPost UK: “Despite these latest figures showing that covid cases remain high on the parliamentary estate, too many MPs continue to refuse to wear a mask.

“Rather than viewing this as some kind of badge of honour, they should be playing their part in helping to minimise transmission.

“It is now absolutely imperative that MPs follow the guidance of the House Authorities and UKHSA, show some leadership and prove that they care about the safety and wellbeing of all those who work on the parliamentary estate.”

A parliamentary spokesperson said: “Following the recent increase in cases of Covid-19 on the parliamentary estate, we have worked closely with the UKHSA to establish a detailed picture of cases and possible routes of transmission.

“We are now in a position to be able to confirm the results of those assessments.

“The additional Covid measures agreed by the Commission last week are due to be reviewed this week, ahead of the House’s return from the recess on the 15th.

“All measures taken are in line with national guidance and advice from the UKHSA to ensure that the parliamentary estate remains Covid-safe”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

Watch: Dominic Raab defends PM for not wearing a mask during hospital visit

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