STATEMENT BY JEREMY CORBYN 14 MARCH 2020
As the coronavirus spreads, Labour’s priority is your health and wellbeing.
As well as doing everything we can to keep our members safe, we are committed to ensuring we fully contribute to the collective effort to protect public health.
That is why we have taken some important decisions.
We have paused all party campaigning and local meetings. The Electoral Commission called for the local elections scheduled for 7 May to be postponed, and we welcome the government’s agreement to do this.
Instead of canvassing and campaigning, I would like Labour members to get involved in supporting vulnerable people in our communities – ensuring this is done safely and on the basis of public health advice.
The labour movement, rooted as it is in our communities, can help to ensure those who need support the most are not left to cope alone.
Please speak to your friends and family about what you can do, and look online and social media for organisations already organising volunteer groups.
I fully understand the growing public concern around the virus and the number of cases, and legitimate questions are being asked about why the UK government’s advice differs from that of neighbouring countries.
Labour has supported a science-led approach, while recognising that leaves room for more than one possible response. So we are asking the government to publish its scientific modelling and explain transparently the conclusions it has drawn. We believe it is vital that the government maintains public confidence.
We also believe the government must take more comprehensive steps to ensure insecure, self-employed and unprotected workers are not forced to choose between health and hardship, and are able to take time off work and self-isolate if necessary, in the interests of us all. We will hold the government to account on this.
Please look after yourselves.