MPs Stopped “Non-Urgent” Work Out of Respect for the Queen

The Queen’s passing led many across the country to suspend their duties as a mark of respect over the weekend: the Met Office stopped reporting the weather, the football was called off, and the Bank of England delayed its decision on interest rates for a week, Norwich council have stopped residents locking up their bikes, and Wetherspoons has reportedly stopped selling condoms in its loos*. All as Her Majesty would have wanted.

A few MPs are also throwing themselves into a period of mourning. Both Victoria Atkins and Alex Davies-Jones closed their offices on Friday. “Out of respect” for the sovereign…

Alex Davies-Jones made the move first, writing on Facebook:

“Due to the very sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, as a mark of respect my constituency office will be closed until further notice […] My staff will continue to deal with urgent casework at this sad time. However, for matters that can wait and queries on policy there will be a short delay whilst we mourn the loss of our beloved monarch.”
Shortly after, Victoria Atkins decided that was a good idea as well:

“At this time, out of respect for Her Majesty The Queen, I have paused in responding to non-urgent correspondence.”

This morning Davies-Jones clarified that her constituency office had only closed on Friday out of respect for HM The Queen’s sad passing“, and is now open. If you’re a constituent of Victoria Atkins and you haven’t heard from her since Friday, though, you can probably assume your problems have been sent to the “non-urgent” pile. Presumably neither MP will be forgoing last Friday’s salary as a similar mark of respect…

*Guido remains sceptical about the truthfulness of this tweet…

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Minister Destroys Corbyn Over Hypocritical Demands to “Tackle Racism”

Victoria Atkins wasted little time tearing Corbyn apart after his insistence that the government takes “immediate action” over online racial abuse. Hilarious as it was hypocritical.

Speaking in the Chamber today, Atkins slammed Corbyn:

“I suspect I’m not the only person who has felt a little bit astonished that it is this right honourable member who’s chosen to ask that question about taking immediate action to tackle racism…I am also reminded that a Jewish female MP had to have police protection at his party conference because of fears for her own safety. So I will listen to many, many people about tackling racism. I will work with pretty much anyone. But I must say, I will take a long spoon on which to sup with this particular member.”

Looks like Corbyn will have to try harder next time to – in his words – “unlock the talent of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people”…

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“How Can You Keep a Straight Face?”: Minister Under Pressure after Schools Advisor Quits over Funding Row

Following Education Tsar Sir Kevan Collins’ resignation last night – after No. 10 refused to back his £15 billion funding proposals – Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins had to defend the government’s current spending plan of just 1/10th of what Collins was calling for. Rishi is also feeling the heat after being accused of putting up the main objections.

Atkins insisted on Sky News that the £1.4 billion sum was a “huge amount of funding” and that she “didn’t know where [Collins’] figures have come from“. LBC’s Nick Ferrari resorted to asking her how she could keep a straight face. And the government were hoping recess would be an easy ride…

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Atkins: Government Working on National Strategy to Tackle Crimes Against Women
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Safeguarding Minister: Police Actions on Clapham Common Were “Very Upsetting”
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Minister Confirms Lockdown Roadmap Will be Set Out on February 22

Yesterday Guido reported a seeming backslide from Boris on his commitment to a roadmap out of lockdown being set-out on February 22nd, after his spokesman told the press “I think the Prime Minister along with all the ministers and myself have said the week of the 22nd“. Thankfully, minister Victoria Atkins re-affirmed to Sky News this morning that the 22nd is still a concrete date. Let’s chalk this down to a slip up by Allegra…

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