I have continued to work in three main ways from my home in Northampton during the past two weeks, whilst Parliament has not been sitting. My work encompasses:
- Constituency Work - helping residents of Northampton North with multiple enquiries.
- Ministerial Work as Solicitor-General- including advising the Government on legal matters, supporting the Criminal Justice system and making decisions about serious cases, including whether to pursue Unduly Lenient Sentences in the Court of Appeal, and whether to grant Law Officers’ Consent to Prosecute in certain serious offences.
- Emergency Government Work on Covid-19 - including remotely attending multiple emergency meetings, such as those chaired by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and Attorney-General Suella Braverman.
With the help of my staff, who are also all working from home, I have been able to continue my normal practice of responding to all emails from constituents within two working days, despite the big increase in the amount of local residents needing help due to Covid-19.
I have received thousands of emails throughout this crisis and I have been able to continue to assist constituents, including the following examples:
A) helping residents stranded overseas who need help with repatriation to the UK;
B) engaging with the vulnerable and elderly who are isolating and require assistance;
C) working with businesses who are offering support in the manufacturing of key equipment like PPE and ventilators;
D) providing support and guidance for businesses, employees and the unemployed who are in financial difficulties as a result of the effects of Covid-19, and many other examples.
I have also been involved in regular telephone conferences with Northamptonshire’s NHS Leaders, Chief Constable, Chief Fire Officer, Leaders of the Councils, and others, concerning police and fire briefings and discussion of local issues. This is to ensure residents, particularly the vulnerable, are supported and engaged with, and local businesses are supported – including care homes.
In addition to my constituency work, I am attending ‘virtual’ COBRA meetings in my capacity as Solicitor-General, where I work with Government officials and fellow ministers. In these meetings - including health-specific committees chaired by Matt Hancock and international-focussed committees chaired by Dominic Raab - we monitor and discuss Coronavirus-related developments and I am on hand to provide legal advice about aspects of this emergency.
(Photo Above: [Archive]- Michael Ellis MP with the Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, at Northampton General Hospital in February 2019). (archive photo)