FDA to name and shame MPs who refuse to wear face coverings
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Members of Parliament who ignore the Speaker’s advice to
wear face coverings are willingly putting parliamentary staff at risk and will
be named and shamed by the FDA.
The move follows the decision by the House of Commons
Commission that parliamentary staff will be required to wear face coverings but
MPs cannot be compelled to do so.
FDA General Secretary Dave Penman said: “Parliament is a
historic building with notoriously bad ventilation. We fully support the
decision to require House staff to wear face coverings to help protect their
colleagues and Parliamentarians from increased risk of spreading COVID-19. It
is extraordinary that Parliament can recognise this important public safety
measure is necessary, but find no means to enforce it with MPs themselves.
“In these circumstances, MPs who fail to wear masks in the
House and are not exempt are doing so in the full knowledge that their actions
potentially increase the risk of COVID-19 infection to their parliamentary
colleagues and House staff. Such action needs to be called out and, as such, we
will write to those MPs making clear that their actions are undermining the
health of the dedicated public servants who support them and making public the
names of those MPs who undertake this reckless action.”
FDA National Officer Jawad Raza had
previously criticised the House of Commons Chamber returning to full
capacity, branding it a “political stunt”. He told
the Guardian that the plan “shows scant regard for the wellbeing of
“Cramming 100s of MPs into a historic building with little
to no ventilation is obviously not a sensible approach,” he explained. “But
when you consider the 1,000s of staff also needed to support parliamentary
business, it’s downright reckless... it would have been far safer for the Commons to slow down, take into account the health and wellbeing of our members, and be cautious rather than grandstanding to make a political point.”
Penman’s comments were covered by BBC News, ITV News, the
Evening Standard, the
Telegraph and MailOnline.