Westminster in Covid chaos – House of Commons Deputy Speaker forced to self-isolate

Freedom Day: Harwood warns 10 million may have to isolate

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The Labour MP for Doncaster is one of three deputies to the House Speaker and is understood to have been pinged under the NHS Test and Trace app. She will be replaced as deputy speaker by Labour MP Judith Cummins. It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive for Covid.

Ms Cummins, who is a member of the Panel of Chairs, will abstain from voting this week as a result and has been paired with a Tory MP.

It comes just days after Mr Javid tested positive for Covid.

The politician, who has received both doses of the vaccine, is currently self-isolating and working from home.

He is said to have “very mild” symptoms.

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak had been identified at close contacts of the Health Secretary on Sunday and were pinged by the NHS Test and Trace app.

No10 initially said the pair would not have to isolate as they would take part in a pilot programme, where daily tests replace self-isolation.

But after coming under intense criticism for the move, with many questioning if such a scheme had ever existed, the Prime Minister and Chancellor said they would isolate after all.

Opposition parties said it suggested there was “one rule for them and another for the rest of us”, if they didn’t have to self-isolate.

Mr Johnson posted a video on Twitter after announcing the u-turn, and said: “We did look briefly at the idea of us taking part in the pilot scheme, which allows people to test daily, but I think it’s far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules and that’s why I’m going to be self-isolating until Monday 26 July.

“I know how frustrating it all is, but I really do urge everybody to stick with the programme and take the appropriate course of action when you’re asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.”

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