As the weather finally begins to warm, the days longer and brighter, I find myself reflecting on that time two years ago when our country was locked down.
Beneath the facade of lockdown-induced springtime tranquility, masses of people were contracting coronavirus and fighting for their lives; while our NHS has heroically coped with a rapid and exponential increase in the number of patients admitted.
Throughout this turbulent and disorienting time, I have been very proud of how we have come together as a community in Halifax. I know people have made extremely difficult sacrifices to stop the spread of the virus. Since the revelations about the Prime Minister’s conduct and Downing Street parties during lockdown, an increasing number of constituents have contacted me about their experience.
A Halifax resident said he saw his partner die of a heart attack at home. In the days following this traumatic and devastating event, they were left alone at home, unable to be comforted by friends and family. Their partner’s funeral could only be attended by 20 people and they were not allowed to wake up.
A healthcare worker has spent his days working to exhaustion in hospital and, at home, has lost family members, cousins and friends to the virus. Nevertheless, they remained determined to follow the rules and did not mix with other households.
Another family emailed to speak of the anxiety and fear they had felt throughout the lockdown, while shielding themselves to protect their vulnerable children and family members.
Leaders should always lead by example, and this should especially be the case when setting rules for others to follow. The news that Boris Johnson has been given a fixed penalty notice by the Metropolitan Police marks the culmination of months of bluster and lies from the Prime Minister. If whistleblowers hadn’t disclosed the facts of the case and if the police hadn’t issued a fine, then Johnson would have been perfectly content to never reveal his wrongdoing and instead would have continued to act with the same sentiment. impunity and arrogance. which now defines its leadership.
The Met has so far issued more than 50 fixed penalty notices in relation to Downing Street parties. This shows that there is no doubt that the highest leaders of this government believed that they could overrule the laws they were enacting for everyone else.
This is the first time in the history of our country that a Prime Minister has been found guilty of breaking the law and it is shocking that this happened when everyone was making unimaginable sacrifices.
We live in serious times. An unprecedented cost of living crisis is making its mark in Halifax as families struggle to pay their bills and put food on the table. In Europe, a war of aggression is being waged against a sovereign state by a murderous tyrant. It is because the times are so dire that it is so essential to be able to trust the judgment of a Prime Minister. I don’t believe he has the moral fiber to hold the highest office in the land. The country deserves better and will need better to guide us in the months to come.