Kevan has released a statement on the vote in Parliament this afternoon on the new restrictions that the Government have put forward for when the lockdown ends on 2 December.

Kevan’s statement is available below:

Later today, Parliament will vote on the Government’s proposals for the reintroduction of the Tier system as the lockdown comes to an end tomorrow.

These will include measures to place the North East in Tier 3, the most restrictive Tier, which will have a huge impact on businesses and jobs in the region.

I will be voting against the Government proposals.

I have no faith at all in the way the Government has handled this crisis and the proposals before Parliament today are just another example of the shambolic Government response.

Despite the Government stating that it would follow the science to inform its decisions, this is clearly not the case, and the Government have also refused to publish an Economic Impact Assessment on regions such as the North East.

Parts of London have not only got high rates of infection, but are in some cases still rising, unlike the North East.

A political decision has been taken by Government to place London in Tier 2, protecting jobs and businesses in the capital over those in the North East.

The new restrictions for the North East are not accompanied by additional funding and support for businesses or jobs which are now at risk because of these new Tier 3 rules.

The Government has offered all Tier 3 areas mass lateral-flow testing, which has been piloted in Liverpool. Despite this, local Directors of Public Health have not received any guidance on how this will be implemented. The claims by Government that it led to a drop in the infection rate in Liverpool is not borne out by the facts. Eye-wateringly expensive to implement, the money would be better spent bolstering local test and tracing in the hands of Directors of Public Health. Instead of a centrally-driven national test and tracing system, which is failing, we need to support local test and tracing through local authorities which has proven far more effective. Local Directors of Public Health who know their areas and needs, need to be listened to rather than ignored.

The Government have indicated that these proposals will be reviewed every two weeks, but on a call with the Health Minister last week, she told us that these restrictions are likely to continue into the New Year.

I trust that this explains my reasons for voting against these proposals today, but as always, I am keen to hear from constituents in North Durham who can contact me at [email protected]