Rachael Maskell MP, York Central
Rachael Maskell MP, York Central

Rachael Maskell MP, was the first MP called at Prime Minister’s Questions today, 3 June 2020. She raised concerns highlighted in the Public Health England Report published yesterday which highlighted how older people, BAME communities, and the poorest in our communities were most susceptible to contract and die of Covid-19.

This inequality in health, also highlighted in the Marmot Report, is showing how the inequitable structures in our society result in certain groups being left more exposed to risks of infection and mortality.

Rachael Maskell MP, “Inequality is something that York experiences, and therefore I am acutely aware that some communities of York could experience a higher risk of Covid-19 more than others. It is absolutely right that these inequalities, brought about by poor housing, poor work, poor pay and fewer opportunities are addressed as we rebuild York after this Covid-19 crisis.

“I have called for a full economic and health risk assessment to be published as the two issues are intertwined. I will be following this up with Ministers over the coming days.

“I have further asked for a copy of City of York Council’s Risk Assessment and was shocked to learn that they did not have one, only one to address a flu outbreak, not Covid-19, when we are already 3 months into the current crisis and over 4 months have passed since the first case appeared in the city. Without a full local economic and health risk assessment for York, build back plans will be built on sand and will not address the cities gross inequalities.”

Please see the exchange here of the MP and the Prime Minister:

Rachael Maskell

As the Prime Minister obfuscates over his adviser, the real scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has been exposed in the Public Health England report published yesterday on inequality and poverty. If you are black or Asian, if you are poor, if you have a low-skilled job, the mortality risk is up to double that of the rest of the population, with the poorest having the greatest exposure, risk and fate. Now the Government are seriously increasing that exposure and risk with their easement announcements. Why will the Prime Minister not publish a full health and economic risk assessment for scrutiny, to protect us all from this deadly virus?

The Prime Minister

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. This Government commissioned the review from PHE and we take its findings very seriously, because there obviously are inequalities in the way the virus impacts on different people and different communities in our country. The Minister for Equalities, my hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Kemi Badenoch) will be looking at what next practical steps we need to do to protect all our country from coronavirus.

To see the full article on the Yorkshire Times website, please follow the link below:


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