Speaker Hoyle SCOLDS Tory Minister after she brands Labour MPs ‘children’ in Commons row

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Responding to a question posed by Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan on Conservative Party donors profiteering from the coronavirus pandemic with the production of PPE, Health and Social Care Minister Jo Churchill said: “Our plan on PPE has been to stabilise the system and build resilience. This was outlined in the PPE strategy published on the 28th of September…”

But as MPs on the opposition benches could be heard speaking over the Minister, she blasted: “Children! Thank you.”

The comment caused Tory MPs to burst into laughter but Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle was forced to reprimand the Tory Minister.

He said: “Ms Churchill, I think that’s down to me. You carry on.”

To which Ms Churchill replied: “Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

“I’m sorry, it’s that old habit of being a mother of four.”

Shadow health minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan asked about a company called Medpro Limited which was “given Government contracts worth over £190 million” yet had “no previous experience” of producing PPE.

Ms Allin-Khan added: “Reports have suggested that this company has substantial links to Conservative Party donors, so can the Secretary of State or the minister categorically assure the country that no Conservative Party donors are profiteering from the pandemic?”

Ms Churchill replied: “We procure goods and services as I said to (Richard Thompson), we work with extreme urgency in accordance with procurement rules and Cabinet Office guidance.

“We are confident with our supply with four months of COVID-critical PPE and over 70 percent now manufactured in the UK providing UK businesses with jobs ensuring that all health and care providers have access to critical protective equipment needed to keep patients and staff safe.”

Speaking before Ms Churchill, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he hopes COVID-19 testing can be offered to enable people to visit their loved ones in care homes across the country before Christmas.

The Health Secretary said there is a “terrible dilemma” between wanting to keep people safe in care homes yet also wanting to allow visiting.

He told the Commons: “Testing can help to resolve that.

“The pilots are ongoing now in some parts of the country and I very much hope we can get to the position where we can offer testing to enable visiting across the country before Christmas.”

More to follow…

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