Tag Archives: Clive Lewis

government are prepared to play fast and lose with the safety of the British people.

Having consulted widely with head teachers, teaching unions (NEU, NASUWT) and school support staff trades unions (Unison, GMB), I have agreed to sign and support the following statement below.

Unfortunately, it has become increasingly clear from this government’s actions that they are prepared to play fast and lose with the safety of the British people. We have one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in Europe because of the numerous and consistent failures of this government; the decisions it took, or failed to, and a critical failure of leadership.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We should not now let it compound this failure at the expense of our children, school staff and the wider community, who will be endangered yet further at its insistence schools reopen on June 1st.

Therefore, until the five tests below are met I would, as your MP, urge all constituents whose children are not already at school, to keep them at home.


Clive Lewis MP



We, the undersigned, representing education workers, families and communities in Norfolk, are aware of the difficult position faced by headteachers, governors, academy trusts and Norfolk County Council in relation to wider opening of schools. We believe that these difficulties can only be overcome by schools and communities working together for the common good.

We are in full agreement that:

The overriding priority in considering wider opening of schools must be the safety and welfare of students, their families, staff and the wider public. This must include all those who work in schools, whatever their employment status. An unsafe return will only serve to break the bond of trust between school and home and will hinder a successful long-term economic recovery.

Public health considerations and the serious risks of increasing transmission rates of Covid-19 must be the primary criteria governing the strategy for wider reopening of our schools.

The wider reopening of schools will require agreement by employers and trade unions locally on a range of procedures to make sure schools are safe environments for children, their families and carers, and staff. These must include robust risk assessments in advance of schools reopening.

Wider reopening must be focused on achieving equitable outcomes, including the impact on the mental health and living standards of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their families, and BAME groups. Communities facing the greatest challenges before the pandemic are being hit hardest by Covid-19 and schools, trusts and the local authority must work to overcome this disadvantage.
Therefore, we believe the following tests must be met before local schools commit to wider opening:

1. Clear scientific published evidence at a national level that trends in transmission of Covid-19 will not be adversely impacted by the reopening phase and that schools are also safe to reopen.

2. Full rollout of the government’s “test, trace and isolate policy” with testing targets consistently met over a number of weeks and case numbers falling consistently.

3. Agreement between employers and unions that operational practices and procedures in schools meet minimum quantifiable standards, judged through regular robust risk assessments, signed off by trade unions and employers.

4. Proper funding and arrangements for enhanced school cleaning with additional resources subject to risk assessment and all necessary PPE to keep them safe.

5. Clear strategies for safeguarding the most vulnerable pupils and staff, including those who have an underlying condition, are pregnant, over 70 or in the shielded group, and those who live with (or care for) anyone in these categories. These pupils and staff should be allowed to self-isolate or work from home. Consideration also needs to be made for BAME pupils and staff, who may be at greater risk from the virus, and for those staff on minimum wage (often working for contractors) who cannot afford not to be paid.

At present, we do not believe that all of these conditions have been met and call on schools, trusts and Norfolk County Council to delay opening beyond 1st June in order to meet them. This is a position we know many head teachers agree with but are unable, for various reasons, to publicly support.

Once wider opening has been agreed, we believe that a phased approach should be kept under constant review with no expectation that more pupils will return before the science shows that this is safe.

Clive Lewis MP
NEU – Norfolk
NASUWT – Norfolk
Unison – Norfolk
GMB – Norfolk

NEU statement here:

Clive’s response to Dominic Cummings actions.

Over the past few days, I have recieved hundreds of emails from constituents regarding Dominic Cummings’ 260-mile trip to Durham. Thank you to all those who took the time to get in touch and let me know your views.

It’s clear there’s a lot of upset, concern and anger about this situation. I empathise with this, and agree that the trip was a completely irresponsible move by the advisor.

I have followed and considered developments in this story closely, and my response can be read in full below.

Norwich tested for coronavirus once a week

A project led by scientists at the Earlham Institute at Norwich Research Park could see everyone in Norwich tested for coronavirus once a week, if the government gives it the go-ahead.
Clive Lewis MP said, “As an MP for the city, I’m inevitably going to be in favour of a proposal like this, which would reduce the risk to local people of becoming ill or even dying.
I also know that the people of our city are incredibly civic minded and would jump at the opportunity to do everything they can to play their part in combating this terrible virus.
I’m sure it’s the same in so many other towns and cities in our country, which is why it is such a travesty that the whole country has been so terribly let down by this government’s ineptitude and false promises on testing and tracing.”

Clive Lewis’s reaction to coronavirus outbreak in at least 25% of Norfolk Care Homes

“This government has been telling us that everything possible is being done to protect the elderly and vulnerable from coronavirus. But at the same time, its policies have been jeopardising the older people and staff that care for them.

For weeks, experts have been raising the alarm that the monomaniacal focus on trying to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed has been pushing an equally significant and lethal burden onto care homes.

Time after time, I’ve been told by care workers that they can’t reliably get tests and protective equipment. Care homes have also been on the receiving end of measures to admit only the sickest for hospital treatment and to clear out as many non-acute patients as possible from wards, intensifying the risk to many care staff and older people.

This government were to slow to lock down, too slow to get protective equipment to frontline workers and has now presided over a systemic failure to protect staff and residents in care homes across our county.”

Clive Lewis MP comments on extra 350 space car parking at County Hall

“Pandemic or no pandemic, larger employers still have the same moral responsibility to do everything they can to counter climate breakdown.

“Car usage is responsible for around a quarter of all carbon emissions across the EU and making it easier to park will induce increased commuting by private vehicle and hasten climate breakdown.

“The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the UEA says of all the counties in mainland UK, Norfolk is the most at-risk from the effects of the climate emergency.

“Why on earth is the local authority responsible for our county putting its own citizens in even more climate jeopardy by enabling increased carbon emissions?”


Clive Lewis requests help for the UEA

I’ve written to government ministers to ask for more COVID-19 help for Norwich higher education (HE) institutions including the University of East Anglia (UEA).

UEA is predicting a reduction of 50% or more of overseas students for at least two to three years with the shortfall from accommodation income and course fees totalling as much as £30 million per annum.

Unless the government takes substantial and decisive action very soon, they will put the future of UEA and our city’s other higher education institutions in great jeopardy. Universities like UEA, which have significant numbers of international students, will be hit hardest by the falls in fee and grant income.

But it’s not just the future of local higher education which is at stake here. Universities are vital anchor institutions in local economies. So when higher education gets sick, that virus spreads rapidly to jobs and businesses all over our city. We will desperately need a healthy HE sector after COVID-19 has passed to generate a sustainable and robust recovery of our local economy.



Who is Clive Lewis?

Clive Lewis is the MP for Norwich South.

Listening to you, it’s clear we share the same desire for a fully funded public, not private, NHS; for decent, secure, properly paid jobs; an economy that works for all of us, not just a few and where the wealthy pay their way.

Here in Norwich I’ve campaigned against the privatisation of local NHS services; been at the centre of a broad coalition of trade unions, faith groups, businesses and academics working for a Living Wage across the city; and worked with local campaign groups and trade unions for public ownership of the failing privatised rail industry.

I’m passionate about Norwich’s developing scientific centres of excellence. I support institutions such as the Norwich Research Park in its aim of developing the city’s future by creating and supporting new companies and jobs based on world-leading bioscience and renewables technology.

But despite all that I’m not your typical politician. My life outside of politics has given me experience of the real world. For more than a decade I was a BBC TV news reporter, eventually becoming the BBC eastern region’s chief political reporter. After that I worked as a BBC technician. I’ve also been an army reservist infantry officer, serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009.

I’m also an associate governor of Thorpe St Andrew School and have worked with other schools and charities to help some of our city’s most disadvantaged children. I was also one of the last Labour Government’s National Black Role Models – working with young people across the UK.

Born in London, I grew up on a council estate in Northampton. I attended a local comprehensive, becoming the first member of my family to attend university. I read economics at the University of Bradford before being elected student union president; and eventually Vice President of the National Union of Students (NUS).

I’m also a proud supporter of Norwich City Football Club with a season ticket in the Barclay.

Ultimately I’ll always speak my mind and I’ll do what is best for Norwich.

Clive’s website

Clive’s Facebook

Clive demands that pub chain pay their staff.

I’ve joined other MPs in signing a letter demanding the JD Wetherspoon pub chain pay staff laid off because of Coronavirus.

Wetherspoon staff have been told they will not be paid for the first three days of absence if they self-isolate due to coronavirus. Instead, the chain have informed employees they will be subject to regular statutory sick pay rules if they are concerned about exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

Weatherspoon is also telling workers it won’t pay them at all while pubs are closed until it receives money under the government’s “furlough” scheme whereby the state will cover 80% of wages.

This pub chain has thousands of low-paid employees working part-time who have been hit by this irresponsible and callous decision. Tim Martin’s company is forcing workers to choose between doing the right thing for public health or being able to eat and pay the rent.

That is an awful, gut-wrenching position to put loyal employees in. No-one should feel scared about self-isolating because of worries about money. Sick pay should kick in from the first day of absence however much someone earns at JD Wetherspoon and everywhere else. And the chain should pay all laid off workers now rather than expecting them to wait weeks to get their wages.


Dear Tim Martin


We, the undersigned MPs, are writing to express extreme concern regarding the way Wetherspoons staff have been treated during the COVID-19 crisis, and to add our voices to the following concerns as articulated by the BFAWU Wetherspoons branch:

You employ 40,000 wonderful workers whose skills, hard work and enthusiasm are cherished by the country. They have also generated record profits for your company.

However, Wetherspoons has fallen short in supporting these workers at a time of crisis. Allowing thousands of people to go penniless for a prolonged period of time is disgraceful. So many rely on their weekly income to survive.

COVID-19 is the biggest public health crisis this country has seen in over a century. People are dying – and thousands more are due to die, either from the virus, or through poverty and starvation.

Your workers need wages to support themselves and their families, to pay rent and buy food. We urgently appeal to you to:

1. Stop the gap in pay whilst you’re waiting for government funds to come through. A gap in pay will have major negative consequences for workers and their families,
2. Guarantee 100% of their wages. Losing 20% for your already low paid staff will push people into real hardship.
3. Pay the bonuses they are due in full. With your millions in profits this is more than feasible.

We hope that Wetherspoons will not be remembered as seeking to squirrel away profits during a global crisis causing the deaths of thousands of people.

Instead, we hope that you will seek to continue to make Wetherspoons a safe place to work – and serve your country.

Venues in Norwich

These venues have told me they’re struggling to cope with substantial overheads including business rates, which commonly total tens of thousands of pounds annually. Sadly, none of the already-established Coronavirus support initiatives fully meet the venues’ needs. They’re slipping through the net.

I’m backing venues including OPENNorwich, @Norwich Puppet Theatre and Norwich Theatre Royal who are lobbying central government for help.