4 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • PM must ensure COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge to all
  • Lib Dems: Govt must do more to protect the vulnerable from modern slavery
  • Lib Dems: Face mask announcement yet another example of Govt’s slow response

PM must ensure COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge to all

The Liberal Democrats have urged the Prime Minister to ensure a coronavirus vaccine is patent free, affordable for all governments and free of charge to all.

The call comes as the Prime Minister today hosts a Global Vaccine Summit in London.

The Liberal Democrats are also calling on the Prime Minister to endorse the WHO COVID Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), which the UK Government has so far refused to do.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for International Development Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

Until everyone is vaccinated, no one is safe. A COVID-19 vaccine should be a global public good – patent free, affordable for all governments and free of charge to all people.

The UK Government should be a world leader in ensuring equitable access to vaccinations. But I am deeply concerned that Ministers appear to be putting short-sighted nationalism and the profits of pharmaceutical companies ahead of saving lives.

It is shameful that last week, the UK Government refused to endorse the WHO COVID Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) – a global initiative to share COVID-19 science and data and prevent monopolies blocking fair global access to the medical solutions to this pandemic.

I urge the Prime Minister to seize upon the opportunity of today’s summit to pledge meaningful support for C-TAP and encourage all stakeholders to follow suit.

Lib Dems: Govt must do more to protect the vulnerable from modern slavery

Responding to the statistics released on victims of modern slavery in Quarter 1 2020, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

The extent of modern slavery here in the UK is shocking. As coronavirus has spread, so has modern slavery yet the Government is failing to act on this rise we have seen since last year.

The coronavirus crisis has seen thousands of people lose their livelihoods overnight and Ministers simply are not doing enough to prevent people from falling into financial hardship and then, tragically in too many cases falling into modern slavery. The fact that some of the most vulnerable in our society are being left at risk shows the urgent need for the Government to act.

Enforcement agencies must be able to conduct labour inspections and act to prevent exploitation during the pandemic. This requires not only workplace inspectors to be provided with sufficient personal protective equipment, but they need additional funding to ensure they can enact additional preventative measures in high-risk sectors.

Modern slavery is a scourge on our society, it is time the Government acted to eradicate it.

Lib Dems: Face mask announcement yet another example of Govt’s slow response

Responding to the daily press conference, Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and Care spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

The announcement that face coverings will now be compulsory on public transport in England from June 15th raises questions. If this is so beneficial, why was it not done sooner? Why is there yet another disparity in measures across the UK?

The benefits of using face masks and coverings were being raised at the very beginning of the coronavirus crisis, but once again it appears that this Government is behind the curve. Not only is the Government’s response slow, but the fact that the Transport Minister has reiterated the need for people to stay off public transport and work from home where possible shows the hypocrisy when parliamentarians have been forced to return to Westminster.

The Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis remains inadequate. Following reports that the tracing system will not be fully operational until September, and protective equipment remains in short supply for frontline staff, especially in our care homes, the need for a public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus crisis is getting stronger by the day.

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3 Comments

  • Lesley Mccourt 4th Jun '20 - 11:29pm

    I don’t think vaccines should be mandatory. If I can build up my own resistance to the virus I would

  • Peter Martin 5th Jun '20 - 6:11am

    It won’t be mandatory because it doesn’t need to be. If take up of a vaccine is sufficient the disease is prevented from spreading through the population. So the “free riders” are likely to be safe too!

  • ………………….Following reports that the tracing system will not be fully operational until September……………….

    It’s more than that; the Prime Minister’s response to Starmer’s question was a long waffle about how ‘thousands were being traced’…Another example of how the population are being treated like ‘mushrooms’ when honesty and clarity will save lives..

    As for the main purpose of this system (a system aimed to become effective AFTER the pandemic has run it’s course) was revealed in a leaked email from the chief executive of Serco – one of the main companies contracted to deliver the service – He doubted the scheme would evolve smoothly but said he wanted it to “cement the position of the private sector” in the NHS supply chain……

    For some, including the government, this pandemic is all about ‘making money’ and may ‘the devil take the hindmost’………

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