Tories kill off bid to give NHS workers right to remain in UK

On Sunday we brought you the news that Christine Jardine’s Private Member’s Bill to give NHS workers the right to remain in the UK.

Sadly, today, the Tories tried to kill that hope by cancelling all sitting Fridays until the end of March. At best this postpones when the  Bill will be heard.

Christine’s Bill proposed that all health and social care staff from outside the EU would be granted indefinite leave to remain, enabling them to avoid the hellscape that is our immigration system and granting them rights enjoyed by British citizens.

Christine vowed to fight on, though:

Like the rest of our wonderful NHS and care staff, hundreds of thousands of people from other countries are on the frontlines of the Covid pandemic, putting themselves in harm’s way to make sure we get the care we need.

The UK should say, loudly and unequivocally, that those who have put their lives at risk for our country are welcome to live in it. That’s what my Bill would do, and I am deeply disappointed that the Government is not even letting it be debated in Parliament.

I am not giving up. I will urge Ministers again to make Government time available to pass this urgent legislation, which has cross-party support.

The idea that anyone who has worked so hard to save lives during this emergency might one day be forced to leave should be unthinkable.

As Christine pointed out, the Government could make this change at the drop of a hat. But a Home Office run by Priti Patel is unlikely to do so. It would be great if she could surprise us as it would mean so much to people like Dr Pushpo Hossain, a registrar who trained in Bangladesh:

This is a very easy thing we could do to make life easier for many doctors, nurses, porters, health care assistants, who are facing daily danger to save lives and when they can’t, comfort our loved ones when we can’t.

Update: So Christopher Chope objected to the Government’s motion so it will be debated tonight (Wednesday 13th). Given the Tory majority it is most likely to pass but let’s hope Christine’s Bill can be brought back or given Government time as soon as possible.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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12 Comments

  • John Marriott 12th Jan '21 - 8:10pm

    Did you really think that they would do anything else?

  • Nigel Jones 12th Jan '21 - 9:09pm

    Not good. But then immigration and severe restrictions on people coming to this country from elsewhere is at the bottom of the Conservative’s UKIP thinking that got them elected.

  • How about a twitter storm beginning “This is Christine Jardine. She is an MP who submitted a Bill to parliament to give all NHS heroes like Pushpo the right to remain in the UK. 1 in 5 staff in the NHS are migrants. They’ve risked their lives to save ours. If you think they deserve to stay will you #VoteLibDem?”

    Just a suggestion.

  • nigel hunter 12th Jan '21 - 11:14pm

    David Evans BANG ON! But not just a twitter storm ALL social media.BBC news commented on the future stress that NHS workers will experience. They need all the support the people can give them. Remember the Tories HATE the NHS. They have reduced its funding for years.

  • Thanks Nigel. We have a President who strongly advocates using social media, but a party that doesn’t even try to organise its members to do so.

    We have to raise our game – Come on Mark, let’s get things moving!

  • This Government has successfully booked their place in the dustbin of history as the Enemy of NHS Workers. They have no sense of shame and no excuse whatsoever to treat these essential workers like that, even the ones who are extremely anti migration recognise that the NHS migrants are not the ones that you need to target.

    My migrant partner works at the NHS ever since she came to the country and she has been working hard , I have never seen her like before since Covid started as she spends much time in her work, still she is despised by these bunch of incompetent Tories and the out of touch Labour who are the Party of Do Nothing.

  • Helen Dudden 13th Jan '21 - 9:49am

    Social Media does work. I had my comments removed in Facebook, as I complained on the subject of people trafficking. Only days ago, children were being fished out of the bitterly cold waters of the English Channel.
    The subject of cancer patients, and lack of transparency and accountability, for those 1000 patients who need surgery within 4 weeks.
    Lots of blaming the private sector, but of course, they have to be careful not to be overtaken by the virus. The options in this would disappear too.
    Chickens coming home to roost, is one I could use. Accept the actions and lack of, is causing so much distress.
    Is the need to make a profit the most important factor?
    How much profit was made from the boxes prepared for the children. With covid and hygiene arrangements,
    with supermarkets could have worked. There is also the additional reduction of food at the end of the day, short dates.
    Never, have I personally felt this continuous lack of understanding towards those who need help. Mental Health is going to be a vast expenditure and I hope this is being taken into account.

  • A party that only wants to communicate with me via social media will lose my support if it has not done so already, perhaps I will become a Non of the above voter.

  • suzanne fletcher 13th Jan '21 - 12:37pm

    @David Evans comment – is there a web article to link to this tweet? will start tweeting it if there is, but running out of time today….

  • suzanne fletcher 13th Jan '21 - 12:50pm

    I’ve just come across this as a weblink, but unless anyone tells me otherwise these sign up things are just ways of the party harvesting e-mail addresses, and nothing actually happens ( or at least never had anything ever from anything I have signed up to).
    https://www.libdems.org.uk/covidheroes

  • Lorenzo Cherin 13th Jan '21 - 3:47pm

    Excellent from commentators

    david Evans, very good stuff but you are known for telling people like me, to stop dreaming….take your own advice David, the party has no clue about how to connect or promote…

  • David Evans 29th Jan '21 - 4:03pm

    Indeed Lorenzo you are absolutely right. Thank you.

    But I still hope we can become a party that can learn how to be better at what it does, and, more importantly is willing to learn.

    If not where is our commitment to education, or is it only to educate others because we don’t need any. I hope that is not the case.

    Certainly it wasn’t the case for the party when I joined it.

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