I’m missing people. The vast majority of my time is usually spent with lots of people: in parliament, in the constituency and in my spare time. So spending most of my time at home has been a challenge.

Any fleeting moments of self-pity are quickly replaced by a feeling of guilt at feeling sorry for myself when so many people have it a lot harder.

It is true that Covid-19 is a threat to us all, but it is not true to say that this pandemic doesn’t discriminate.

While many of us are at home, others are at work, putting themselves at greater risk, especially in our care homes and the NHS, often on low pay.

Some of us are at home with our family and loved ones, but others are at home alone, and feeling the isolation acutely.

Some of us continue to receive our regular pay; others are on a lower income or have lost their jobs altogether.

Some of us at least have the consolation of a garden on sunny days; others are living in overcrowded, sometimes temporary, accommodation.

Right now, our focus is on supporting the government to get through this crisis and my team is dealing with unprecedented levels of casework from local residents in dire straits.

Beyond this crisis, we’ve got to emerge as a better country: fairer, safer and more just.

I want to thank all those supporting us during this crisis.

For all our sakes: stay at home and save lives. Please.


Written for the Ilford Recorder.

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