Jeremy Corbyn called for “unequivocal guidance” over the construction sectors “business as usual” approach to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Today’s PMQs (25th March) mark Corbyn’s last appearance at the despatch box as Parliament closes for a month tonight, with MPs taking shelter from the virus.
Labour’s outgoing leader focused his questions to Boris Johnson on people left behind in the Coronavirus pandemic.
Referencing one self-employed site worker who had “no other option” but to get on the Tube and go to work despite showing symptoms, Corbyn said that the PM needs to be absolutely clear that non-essential construction work should stop.
“His site had not been closed down”, Corbyn said of the worker. “He had no other source of income to feed his family”, he added.
As reported by 24housing, Housing Secreaty Robert Jenrick took to Twitter to try and provide the construction sector with advice on how to proceed moving forward.
Images were being shared on social media of large groups of construction workers working and taking lunch together on site, despite latest government guidance.
Advice included following Public Health England guidance on social distancing – a point reinforced by Johnson in today’s PMQs.
It’s already raised concerns among the sector, saying that they are not able to practice social distancing.
Claiming Johnson “appears to have gone back on his word“, Corbyn also called for a stronger law to “finally absolutely ban evictions for 6 months.”
He said more measures must be announced for the self-employed, who are being forced to claim Universal Credit with online queues of tens of thousands of people.
And he said: “Many British people abroad feel a bit abandoned by the government with many fast running out of medicines.
“These British citizens have a right to turn to their own government for help. Hour long delays on phone calls are not acceptable. They feel abandoned.”
Corbyn demanded extra resources for the DWP – after online queues saw 110,000 people trying to verify their identity to get Universal Credit.