WARRINGTON North MP Charlotte Nichols has defended her decision to show support for the Black Lives Matter demonstration outside parliament yesterday after being accused of breaching social distancing rules by gathering in a group of more than six people.
Warrington North Conservatives are now calling on the MP to self isolate for two weeks to prevent the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.
Warrington Conservatives Chairman Wendy Maisey said:”We were concerned by the photograph which clearly shows Ms Nichols protesting outside the parameters of the Parliamentary Estate. She and other Labour MPs have clearly flouted the law by taking part in a gathering of more than six people.
“Whilst a meagre attempt was made for them to social distance, you can see they had no control whatsoever over the surrounding crowds. Ultimately whether social distancing or not gathering of six or more people is currently illegal and MPs need to follow the law and lead by example.
“So much hard work has been done by the Speaker and other staff in Parliament to ensure self-distancing is adhered to, Charlotte Nichols must now do the responsible thing and self-isolate away from the public for two weeks to stop the spread of this disease. She was very vocal calling for the sacking of Dominic Cummings but seems to think her actions are acceptable. She is now clearly risking the spread the virus amongst residents of Warrington having returned from London and should have stayed at her London home.
“At a time of national emergency MPs should be using Social Media platforms to support protests, not be in the thick of the action. Their actions are risking the spread of the virus hence potentially putting our NHS under further pressure and contributing to a second spike of Covid-19.”
In response Ms Nichols said: “As usual, Warrington Conservatives are demeaning themselves by engaging in petty point scoring, and there’s a particular irony in the fact I would not have been in Westminster at all were it not for their party prematurely ending the hybrid Parliament arrangements. Indeed, it appears Conservative Alok Sharma may have brought Coronavirus back onto the Parliamentary estate less than 48 hours into being back.
“I have received a number of emails from constituents regarding Black Lives Matter, the situation in the United States and associated issues in the United Kingdom. Upon hearing the demonstration going past my office in Parliament, with a couple of colleagues I headed down for a closer look for a very short time and to be able to hear better. As is evident from the photos, I am wearing a mask, away from the crowd, observing social distancing and I washed my hands thoroughly re-entering the building.
“I have observed the rules at all times, even when the Chair of the local Conservative Party has previously tried to smear me with the implication that I had “deserted” my constituents in abiding by them by the letter. I would suggest they focus on the real issues at hand, instead of trying to deflect attention away from their own party’s failings onto me.”
Members of the House, including @BarryGardiner, have flagrantly flouted the law by joining the protest outside Parliament.
This is unacceptable, and Members involved should not return to the House until they have undergone a period of social isolation.
— Imran Ahmad Khan MP #StayAlertSaveLives (@imranahmadkhan) June 4, 2020
Our first glimpse of today’s #BlackLivesMatter demonstration. We were able to head down for a short time, to listen and observe while observing social distancing, but what we do as a Parliament to address the grievances raised will be the more meaningful test of support. pic.twitter.com/33jdoK2hyp
— Charlotte Nichols (@charlotte2153) June 3, 2020
Just popped out of Parliament with some colleagues.
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) June 3, 2020