The Labour MP clashed with the radio host on BBC Two Politics Live when she argued the unionisation of workplaces and cracking down on "unscrupulou
The Labour MP clashed with the radio host on BBC Two Politics Live when she argued the unionisation of workplaces and cracking down on “unscrupulous bosses” would prevent second waves of coronavirus cases. Nadia Whittome said: “One of the trends that we’re seeing is how this is happening in workplaces with processing plants and food factories.
“The same happened in Germany and it’s really worrying that there were reports of workers being made to go to work.
“And that really shines a light on a much bigger problem and that problem is poli-unionised workplaces and unscrupulous bosses that result in workers being put in danger.
“So I’d like to see the Government cracking down on this.”
But Iain Dale promptly hit back: “Well, I don’t know what evidence Nadia has got for unscrupulous bosses.
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“Just because there is an outbreak in a particular area it doesn’t necessarily mean that there was an unscrupulous boss.
“And that unionisation is going to clear up the matter, I think it is a ludicrous accusation.”
The clash comes after ministers faced criticism for the handling of the surge of cases in Leicester.
The BMA urged the Government to share “timely, comprehensive and reliable” information to all those involved in the management of new cases at a local level.
It also called for clarity about how regional spikes will be managed in the future.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the BMA Council, said: “The Prime Minister has talked about a ‘whack a mole’ strategy to tackle local outbreaks, but this is no use if the people leading the response on the ground – be they public health teams or local leaders – are not given the most accurate up-to-date data possible.
“This is crucial to allow swift action and to protect lives and the health service, and something that is not happening right now.
“This is all the more important given that the ‘world leading’ test and trace app is not in place, meaning local leaders and teams armed with up-to-date information will be vital in containing spread of outbreaks.”
Ahead of further lockdown restrictions being eased at the weekend, the BMA made a series of demands from the Government.
These include the use of set “metric trigger points” at which action will be taken to reintroduce local and national restrictions, which would take into consideration the regional reproductive rate – known as the R rate – as well as the level of infections in communities.
It also stressed the importance of clear public health messaging that social distancing and infection control procedures should be adhered to.
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Meanwhile, leading health academic Professor Sir Chris Ham urged the Government to give local leaders control over NHS Test and Trace.
In an opinion piece published in The British Medical Journal, Sir Chris wrote: “A crisis on the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic requires a national response. But in a country as large and diverse as the United Kingdom, where the impact of the virus varies between areas, a national response is insufficient.
“Local leadership is also essential, drawing on the expertise of devolved governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, local authorities, NHS bodies, and many other public sector agencies.
“A major weakness in the Government’s handling of the crisis has been its failure to recognise and value local expertise.”