South Shields MP blasts ‘discriminatory’ Covid passports on live TV

Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, featured on BBC show Politics Live

Emma Lewell-Buck on the show (Image: BBC)Emma Lewell-Buck on the show (Image: BBC)
Emma Lewell-Buck on the show (Image: BBC)

A South Shields MP blasted the idea of introducing Covid passports to the nation as she spoke on Politics Live this Tuesday morning.

Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, featured on the BBC show alongside Scott Benton MP, Paul Mason and Isabel Oakeshott to tackle the day's headlines.

Ms Lewell-Buck, who has held her seat since 2013 and is the constituency's first-ever female MP, is a member of the Labour party.

The first discussion of the day centred on public feeling towards unvaccinated people, with Politics Live showing figures that only 23% of the British public felt 'warm' to those without the jab.

The South Shields MP didn't hold back in sharing her views on why more leniency should be given, and why Covid passports were not the way forwards.

She said: "The reality is we live in a democracy and sometimes people have the free will to do and say things that we don't necessarily like.

"I think if we start going down this path, the next thing is Covid passports which is discriminatory.

"I think the best way to combat this virus has always been good, strong, consistent messaging and strong leadership, and unfortunately the Prime Minister and his MPs constantly walking around without masks, without sanitising, isn't sending the right message to people."

Later on in the show the panel also debated the controversial proposition from Mr Benton about scrapping the Human Rights Act.

Mr Benton, who is the MP for Blackpool South, argued that reforming the Act was the only way to kerb illegal immigration into the UK.

Ms Lewell-Buck responded: "I think we need to be really careful about talk about scrapping the Human Rights Act.

"This is an act that gives access to justice for everybody without fear or favour.

"You talk to anyone who was involved in the Snatch Land Rover case, John Worboys the taxi rapist, Hillsborough... all those people used that act to get justice.

"How could anyone say they want to see that scrapped, it's beyond belief for me.

"To talk about scrapping an entire act is very foolish and very reckless and you shouldn't go down that route.

"We want safe routes, that's completely different to open borders."

Ms Lewell-Buck once worked as a social worker in Jarrow, specialising in child protection, before winning the 2013 by-election in the constituency.

Given her past career, the MP also spoke on the recent death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, who was tortured and killed by his stepmother and father in June 2020.

Speaking on the case and the child protection system, the MP said: "I can't quite get my head around it, to be honest.

"Everyone I used to work with is very shaken by this case.

"The child protection community is quite small and this reminds us of cases we've all been involved in and rescued children from some quite horrible situations.

"We have a watertight child protection system in this country and the systems in place for the police, social workers and the NHS to work together are there.

"They weren't followed and there is clearly something gone drastically wrong.

"You can't divorce this tragedy from the overall cuts to the sector, the sweeping away of support services, the government's relentless pursuit of privatisation and deregulation of the sector.

"Those are things that are having an impact on people on the ground."