Second MP goes into self-isolation amid growing Westminster coronavirus fears

James Morris
Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
Rachael Maskell pictured at the 2016 Labour Party conference. (PA)

A second MP has gone into self-isolation amid growing coronavirus fears in Westminster.

Rachael Maskell, the Labour and Co-operative representative for York Central, announced she was taking the measure on Wednesday morning after coming into contact with coronavirus-positive health minister Nadine Dorries.

Dorries, the Tory representative for Mid-Bedfordshire, was the first MP to become infected with coronavirus.

Maskell posted on Twitter:

Maskell later told the PA news agency: “I’m absolutely fine, obviously it’s frustrating because there are things I want to get on with.

“I’m just planning on making more phone calls, more working online. I’m not going to be bored, put it that way.”

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The agency also reported that Dorries had sent a WhatsApp message to Tory MPs saying a member of her staff was ill.

It raises questions as to whether the coronavirus has begun circulating around Parliament, though there are no plans to test any ministers, including Boris Johnson.

The Department of Health said Dorries first exhibited symptoms on Thursday, the same day she attended a Downing Street event hosted by the prime minister to mark International Women’s Day.

Johnson is understood not to have exhibited symptoms and not to have come into close contact with Dorries.

Rachael Maskell with Jeremy Corbyn in December. (Paul Ellis/AFP)

In a statement on Tuesday night, Dorries said: “As soon as I was informed I took all the advised precautions and have been self-isolating at home.

“Public Health England has started detailed contact tracing and the department and my parliamentary office are closely following their advice.”

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She later tweeted thanks to her well-wishers, posting:

The news came after the number of cases in the UK rose to 382, and a sixth death in the UK was confirmed on Tuesday.