Hull MP Diana Johnson calls again for Government to allow Army in with pandemic support amid fears city is 'forgotten'

Hull North MP Diana Johnson.Hull North MP Diana Johnson.
Hull North MP Diana Johnson.
Hull North MP Diana Johnson has again called for the Army to be mobilised to support the city after it was revealed to have the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK.

In a House of Commons debate yesterday, she asked for the Government to deliver "logistical support and capacity" to deliver Christmas tests for the University of Hull, "as well as the welcome 10,000 lateral flow tests".

She said: "When Liverpool had an especially high rate of Covid-19 infections, with 440 cases per 100,000 people, the Army was utilised for logistical support.

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"As I speak, the Covid-19 infection rate in Hull is more than 760 per 100,000.

"We need that help too, now."

Latest statistics reported by the Centre for Cities differed slightly, though Hull remained the location with the highest number of cases at 752 per 100,000 population, followed by Blackburn (577) and Huddersfield (551).

Last Thursday, Ms Johnson, Hull West and Hessle MP, Emma Hardy, and Hull East MP, Karl Turner, wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, asking for action to combat the "frightening increases" in Covid-19 in our constituencies.

Ms Johnson yesterday told the Commons: "The leader of the council (Stephen Brady) also wrote to the Prime Minister in similar terms, and both letters asked for a number of interventions from central Government that are fundamental to tackling this unfolding public health emergency.

"Sadly, to date we have had no response."

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She added: "Jobs, livelihoods, and the future of Hull depend on that vital economic support. In the lead-up to the festive period, Hull cannot once again be the forgotten city, as it has often felt, from the Blitz to the Brexit preparations. We want to start to plan for Christmas and the new year, and give hope to our people."

Penny Mordaunt MP, the Paymaster General, responded to Ms Johnson by saying that "during the course of the debate I arranged for the Covid-19 taskforce - who, through the Cabinet Office and my office, will co-ordinate this - to have a meeting with the honourable lady and any other people, whether colleagues in this place or the local resilience forum.

"The notes that she has given us today on further logistical support are incredibly important, and we will act on them. I will see her after this debate to confirm all that."