Labour health chief Jonathan Ashworth self-isolating with Covid

The shadow health secretary had been due to appear in the Commons

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Friday 26 November 2021 16:39
<p>Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth </p>

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth

Labour's shadow health secretary has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating, he has said.

Jonathan Ashworth was due to scrutinise the government's announcement of new travel restrictions to southern Africa in the Commons on Friday afternoon.

"I’ve tested positive for Covid, am now self-isolating and out of action for a bit," Mr Ashworth said in a message posted on social media.

Mr Ashworth said that while "huge strides have been made" there was "still a lot of virus circulating".

He added: "So get your jab and booster, do routine lateral flow tests, wear masks in crowded places and government – fix sick pay and ventilation!"

Shadow health minister Alex Norris deputised for Mr Ashworth in the Commons in an exchange with health secretary Sajid Javid.

Mr Norris said the emergence of a new variant and imposition of travel restrictions was "a sobering reminder of the challenges that this pandemic brings".

He added: "We must meet this moment as we have throughout the last 19 months - by pulling together, by looking out for each other and in that British spirit of doing what must be done."

Labour leader Keir Starmer has had to self-isolate a number of times, most recently on budget day when he was deputised for by shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and shadow energy secretary Ed Miliba nd.

Many other MPs of all parties have also had to self-isolate. Boris Johnson contracted a serious case of Covid early on in the pandemic, requiting acute hospital treatment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in