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‘Don’t leave the vulnerable behind’ Carmichael urges rethink on Coronavirus Bill

Alistair Carmichael MP

Fears that the needs of the UK’s most vulnerable citizens could “slip through the cracks” as a result of the proposed Coronavirus Bill have pushed Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael to sign a joint letter raising this concern.

According to Mr Carmichael, the emergency Bill proposes that the duty on local authorities to meet the social care needs of disabled people be relaxed. He has joined other MPs in questioning these potential measures, as he believes it could risk leaving vulnerable folk behind at a time of crisis.

MPs from the cross-party More United Network, alongside disability charity Inclusion London, are urging Secretary of State, Matt Hancock, to reconsider the removal of safeguards and protect the safety and rights of disabled people. Last night the Prime Minister announced further restrictions on movement in order to counter the spread of the virus.

Mr Carmichael said: “That urgent action is needed to tackle the threat of coronavirus is not in doubt, as reflected in the Prime Minister’s statement last night. MPs across the political divide are working with the Government to ensure a constructive response.

“Changes to the law, however temporary, have to be judged by how they treat the most vulnerable in society. Relaxing the duty to meet the social care needs of disabled people risks letting them slip through the cracks. Whatever changes are made must be tightly drawn, or we are likely to feel the consequences long after this virus has left us.”