Dr Luke's Weekly Update - 8 May 2020

VE Day

The past two and half months have been completely unprecedented in most of our lifetimes in the way in which our daily lives have been disrupted.

Whilst we all want to return to normality as soon as possible I’m very mindful that two and half months is comparatively short when stacked against the more than five years of disruption those who lived through the Second World War were faced with.

Today we remember and celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the day on which the allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of our enemy.

Coronavirus has brought with it the loss of far too many lives far too early; it is an invisible enemy which has struck fear into the hearts of all of us.

Today is an apt reminder of another time when far too many lives were lost and when as a nation we were afraid.

But it is also a reminder of our fortitude against an imposing foe; a reminder of service to a greater cause, and one of the strengths of community.

Most importantly it is a reminder that there are better times ahead and in the recent words of Her Majesty echoing back all those years that “we will meet again”.

Today we remember the greatest generation as in the weeks and months to come we seek to replicate an ounce of their fortitude.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

It has been a shorter week this week but still very busy, I have:

  • Took part in the Health and Social Care Select Committee where I questioned the Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Chief Science Officer about how we go about meeting the Government’s 5 tests for lifting lockdown.
  • Asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, about adopting a clear communication strategy as we move to lift lockdown.
  • Welcomed new funding schemes for dairy farmers who have seen their income affected by Coronavirus; I have previously formally asked ministers about the measures we must adopt to protect our dairy farmers so am very pleased to see this initiative introduced.
  • Promoted the Rail to Refuge scheme which is providing free rail travel to help victims of domestic violence flee from abusive partners.
  • Spoke with the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Treasury about the role of EU state aid rules and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILs).
  • Continued to work with DEFRA on the important issue of supporting charity zoos.
  • Expressed delight at new government funding for businesses who are not liable to pay business rates; there are a number of these businesses in Hinckley and Bosworth, for example market traders. This is an issue I have been working on since lockdown, including writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; micro businesses are often the lifeblood of our community and helping them through this tough time is extremely important.
  • Successfully secured financial support for local businesses from banks and local authorities.
  • Wrote an opinion column on the Conservative Home website about the need for Coronavirus legacy planning.
  • Written to constituents concerned about planning about my campaign in parliament for fairer national planning policy.