Debates between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock during the 2019 Parliament

Coronavirus

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Wednesday 16th June 2021

(7 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am happy to look at other life events, although not for the regulations that are before the House today, which are not open to amendment. I am happy to discuss other life events with my hon. Friend.

Let me turn to two other points before I close. First, let us look at the motion tabled by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House. The House has been determined to ensure that, even in the worst clutches of the pandemic, we have found a way that democracy can function and this House can perform its vital functions. Like everyone here, I miss the bustle and clamour of the Chamber when it is full. I cannot wait for the moment when we can all cram once more into our cockpit of democracy.

Just as we have extended other regulations, we propose extending the hybrid arrangements for the House until the House rises for summer recess on 22 July.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
- Hansard - -

Will the Secretary of State give way on that point?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Yes, in a moment.

This will allow for proxy voting to continue along with virtual participation. Crucially, the regulations on the hybrid arrangements fall this summer recess, so when we return in September, we are confident that we can return in full, cheek by jowl once more. I do not know about you, Mr Deputy Speaker—nor, indeed, my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone)—but I cannot wait.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Bone
- Hansard - -

I want to help my right hon. Friend. He cannot wait, so why wait? Why not make this House a pilot, to see what happens? We have the testing facilities, so let us make it a pilot. Say that now, Secretary of State.

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I would dearly love that, and I will talk to my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House, who, as I well know, is an enthusiast. I would love it if we could make that so—let us see.

Finally, I want to tell the House about the results of our consultation on vaccination as a condition of deployment in care homes. After careful consultation, we have decided to take this proposal forward, to protect residents. The vast majority of staff in care homes are already vaccinated, but not all of them are. We know that the vaccine protects not only you, but those around you. Therefore we will be taking forward the measures to ensure the “mandation” as a condition of deployment for staff in care homes, and we will consult on the same approach in the NHS, in order to save lives and protect patients from disease.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Monday 14th June 2021

(7 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I will ensure that the precise Cabinet Office guidance reaches my right hon. Friend’s mobile phone as soon as possible. I am now an hour and five minutes into this, and I am afraid I am going to have to get back to him on that one.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
- Hansard - -

I am sure, Mr Speaker, that the Secretary of State for Health heard what you said at the beginning of this statement. May I ask the Secretary of State how we got ourselves into this position? He has been very good at coming to the House and making statements on covid, but on the biggest, most important day, the press were given an embargoed statement at 3 o’clock and the Prime Minister had a big showy press conference at 6, yet he could not be bothered to turn up until 8.30. This is a clear breach of the ministerial code. How did it happen? Who thought it was a good idea, and who actually broke the ministerial code?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

All I can say, Mr Speaker, is that I am here now answering questions and I am happy to stay for as long as you need me.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 8th June 2021

(7 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
- Hansard - -

What recent assessment he has made of the progress of the construction of new hospitals.

Matt Hancock Portrait The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Matt Hancock)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

In October, the Prime Minister confirmed a £3.7 billion funding allocation over the next four years to support the delivery of 40 new hospitals by 2030, and I am delighted that that includes Kettering General Hospital. We have since confirmed that there will be 48 new hospitals built by 2030, and six of those projects are under way.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Bone
- Hansard - -

I am delighted that one of the new Boris hospitals will be built on the site of Kettering General, starting with an accident and emergency department and with the whole hospital being finished by 2027. Unfortunately, there may well be a substantial delay to that because of red tape and bureaucracy. Will the Secretary of State use his great skills, bang some heads together, and get the pen-pushers and accountants to sort out the delay so that we can get on with this? Will he be kind enough to meet the three hon. Members who represent north Northamptonshire to discuss the issue?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Nothing gives me greater pleasure than making stuff happen, so I would be very happy to meet my hon. Friend and the nearby colleagues who represent the people served by Kettering General Hospital to make sure we can get this project moving as soon as we can.

Covid-19: Government Handling and Preparedness

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Thursday 27th May 2021

(8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text

Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
- Hansard - -

What do we know about the Secretary of State? We know that he is exceptionally hard-working, and that every day he woke up to try to save lives. He has been exceptionally good at coming to the House and answering questions. He has also held press conferences and answered questions from journalists. Yet yesterday, we had some outrageous claims by an unelected Spad who broke covid regulations, admitted he had leaked stuff to the BBC, and by his own admission was not fit to be in No. 10 Downing Street. Does the Secretary of State agree that the only mistake the Prime Minister made in this pandemic was that he did not fire Dominic Cummings early enough?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for that question. I will continue to compliment him while I think of how to respond. The honest truth is that, from the start, I have been totally focused on how to get out of this pandemic. It is absolutely true that the operation and functioning of Government has got easier these last six months, and I think all the public can see that. We are laser focused on getting through this, getting this country out of it and delivering the vaccine programme that we have now been working on for almost a year and a half, which is remarkable. I pay tribute to all those who have been working on this effort. The way to fight a pandemic is by bringing people together and inspiring hope.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Monday 17th May 2021

(8 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I discussed this issue with the Prime Minister. The office for health promotion is intended to be able to tackle some of those issues, led clinically by the chief medical officer, to make sure we can strengthen the public health case around Government, because so many policies of Departments outwith the Health Department are critical in addressing the question the hon. Lady raises.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

I thank the Secretary of State for yet again coming to the House to update us on the covid situation. The Prime Minister, the Secretary of State and the whole Government must take great credit for the vaccination programme. The Secretary of State is surely right when he says we can defeat covid only if we have vaccinations, and we have been tremendously successful at that; I think we did 800,000 in one day last week. However, is it possible for us to increase that vaccination rate even more so we can defeat this terrible pandemic even earlier?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I hope so. The great limiting factor remains supply. We get them out as fast as we get them in; there is not a stockpile waiting. My hon. Friend is absolutely right about the importance of the programme: trusting the vaccine science and offering everybody a vaccine is the way out for all of us. If the Bolton example demonstrates that it is the unvaccinated who end up in hospital, we need to get that message to everyone. I would far rather be getting the vaccines out than having to undertake the sorts of local lockdown we had in the autumn; it is a far, far better approach, because we have these capabilities—the vaccines and the mass testing. That is the approach we are taking; my hon. Friend is right to highlight it, and he was very kind to say what he said about me.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 9th February 2021

(11 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Lady raises an important point, which is taken into account in the work that we are doing to push forward high-quality ventilation, which is good for tackling carbon monoxide poisoning and for trying to reduce the risk of the spread of covid.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

I start by thanking the hard-working Secretary of State for yet again coming to the House and updating us on the covid situation.

In north Northamptonshire, we have a particular problem with covid infections—we just cannot get them down. In Wellingborough, we are 25% above the national average, in Kettering 50% above it and, in Corby, more than double the national average, with the highest infection rate in the country. Has the Secretary of State given any consideration to the mass testing of north Northamptonshire so that we can get infections down, rather as happened in Liverpool?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am aware of and also worried about the continued high rates of infections in north Northants, which has not had a particularly bad pandemic thus far but now, at this point, seems to have a stubbornly high infection rate. I am absolutely up for all measures that might help to get it down, including mass testing. I will take that idea away, work on it with colleagues and return to my hon. Friend and his north Northants colleagues with a proposal.

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Of course, the furlough scheme continues until the end of the month and the job support scheme replaces it. That is the reason for the timing. It is the premise of the right hon. Lady’s question that the job support scheme, like the furlough scheme, supports every single part of these united isles. It supports the whole UK, including Wales. It is the UK Government coming to the aid of every single person in difficult times. That is the approach we should be taking—supporting everyone, wherever they live in this great country.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

I thank the Secretary of State for yet again coming to the House to update us on the situation. I should think the whole House would like to congratulate him on being on target for 500,000 tests a day—that is quite remarkable. Some scientists say that 1% of those tests are false positives. In other words, 5,000 people a day who are reported to have covid-19—up to a quarter of them—might not have the disease. Does the Secretary of State have any suggestions for how that might be improved?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My hon. Friend asks an important question. The false positivity rate for the current technology—the PCR test—is much lower than that. The analysis of the false positivity rate published by the Office for National Statistics says that the impact of that rate is small. One of the exciting things about the new generation of technologies is that the false positivity rate is yet lower, further reducing the problem my hon. Friend sets out.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Monday 5th October 2020

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. As part of the coronavirus response across Lancashire and Cumbria, we want to ensure that the NHS is prepared for the long term, so we are putting a huge investment into Lancashire and the new hospitals in Lancashire. The hon. Gentleman almost mentioned that there is a consultation on whether to have two replacements or one. I entirely understand that he takes a position within that consultation, but it is worth explaining that there is a consultation on whether to replace them with two hospitals or one. There will rightly be full public engagement, with his constituents, those of the hon. Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Cat Smith), and potentially yours, Mr Deputy Speaker, on which is the right approach. However, this is a massive investment in the local NHS that everybody should welcome.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

I thank the Secretary of State for coming to the House yet again to update the House on covid matters and health matters. He is right, of course, to concentrate on covid, but we also have to worry about people who do not have covid diseases and need treatment. In north Northamptonshire, it is welcome that a Boris hospital will be built just off the A14, which will be state of the art and will replace the town centre one of Kettering. Will the Secretary of State tell me when it will be built, and when it will be finished?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

As part of the coronavirus response, we must ensure that we keep our physical NHS up to date, and we will build the new hospital in Kettering. We will complete it before 2030 at the latest, and I very much hope a long time before then. I want to say how much my hon. Friend has done to work towards delivering it, along with my hon. Friends the Members for Kettering (Mr Hollobone) and for Corby (Tom Pursglove) nearby. It has been a team effort, and I was thrilled to be able to let them know that this is happening, and it will happen before the decade is out.

Covid-19 Update and Hospitality Curfew

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Thursday 1st October 2020

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend, who speaks from the heart.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con)
- Hansard - -

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has heard from across the House great concerns about the 10 pm curfew. Given the statements yesterday from yourself, Mr Speaker, and from my right hon. Friend about more parliamentary scrutiny, does he agree that, if the 10 pm curfew had not yet been brought in, it is exactly the sort of measure that should be brought to Parliament first, scrutinised, debated, amended if necessary, and voted upon? Does he agree that that is the sort of thing we can expect in future?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I do agree, and I am glad to agree with my hon. Friend. As I announced yesterday, we have brought in a new process, an innovation on parliamentary procedure, to ensure that there are votes on nationally significant measures in the future.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Thursday 16th July 2020

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely spot on in highlighting the two vast challenges that this country, and every country, face: an unprecedented health challenge and an unprecedented economic challenge as a consequence. Both of those are extraordinary. Rising to and making sure that we deal with each of them as best we can is at the heart of every single Government across the world.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

I congratulate the Secretary of State on coming to the House first to update us on the situation in Leicester. This week, a report from the Centre for Social Justice stated that we have 100,000 modern-day slaves in this country. It appears that many of those are in Leicester and that, unfortunately, created this high infection rate. What are the Government going to do to look into this matter and, if this is happening, to clamp down very hard on the people who are causing it?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The allegations my hon. Friend makes are ones that have been widely made and are widely understood to be a potential part of the problem. I speak carefully in terms of the language, because I know there are ongoing operations to deal both with the public health problem and with other illegality. This is a sore that has long gone untreated and undealt with in Leicester. It is absolutely vital that we add national resources to ensure we get to the bottom of the problem in Leicester once and for all, both the public health response and dealing with some of the potentially illegal employment practices that many people have raised.

Coronavirus Update

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 14th July 2020

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text
Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I have been engaged positively with the Welsh Government throughout, and where we have concerns—for instance, about the outbreaks the Welsh Government were handling in Wrexham or on Anglesey —we have been in communication about it, especially where there is an issue on the border. I would caution slightly against the sorts of comparisons the hon. Lady draws, but what I will say is that this exercise is best conducted together, and that is why we take the approach that we are tackling this virus together across the whole United Kingdom.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

Why was the new policy on face coverings announced in the media last night, rather than to Parliament first?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I have come to Parliament to explain it at the first opportunity.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Peter Bone and Matt Hancock
Tuesday 5th May 2020

(1 year, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text

Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The public can have confidence, not least because the data will be held on people’s own phone until they need to contact the NHS when, naturally, they will of course need to tell the NHS their identity in order to be tested. In that sense, privacy is there by design.

The wider point is that the app and the test, track and trace system will help to keep people safe. As I said yesterday when I launched the pilot in the Isle of Wight, people should download the app to protect the NHS and save lives. It is the civic duty of people on the Isle of Wight to do so, and it will be the civic duty of people throughout the country to do so. It has been designed with privacy at its heart. We are putting the source code on the internet so that people can see exactly what the app does. That reassurance, along with the motivation that they are helping to protect themselves and their community, will, I hope, lead to an awful lot of people downloading the app. I certainly will.

Peter Bone Portrait Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con) [V]
- Hansard - -

Mr Speaker, further to your opening remarks at the beginning of this urgent question about new policy being announced by Government in the House and not to the media first, the Secretary of State side-stepped the question when it was put to him by my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Sir Christopher Chope), so I will try again. Does my right hon. Friend agree with Mr Speaker that statements of new Government policy should be made in this House first, and will he advise the Government to put off making the statement on Sunday until Monday and make a statement in the House?

Matt Hancock Portrait Matt Hancock
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The exact scheduling of any announcement is, of course, a matter that has to be considered across Government, but I will take away my hon. Friend’s concerns and ensure that they are looked into.