Daily Update 06/04/2020


The Prime Minister was hospitalised over the weekend due to Coronavirus. Politicians across the political spectrum wished the Prime Minister a speedy recovery. His office has given no indication of when he should expect to be discharged. Despite his illness Boris Johnson continues to run the government from hospital. 

The death toll increased by 441 today, the lowest daily increasing for almost a week, bringing the death toll to 5,373. 

In the daily press briefing the Secretary of State Dominic Raab stood in place of the Prime Minister. In his briefing he stood by the government’s commitment to increase testing and pointed out that over 208,000 tests had currently taken place. The government’s target is 100,000 tests per day by the end of April.

The new leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer unveiled his shadow cabinet. The selections, which saw the ex-Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband return to the shadow cabinet as Shadow Business Secretary, has been viewed as a move towards the centre-left. 

Things to do…


Ok, so as fun and rewarding as your job may be you can’t, and you shouldn’t, spend all of your time occupied by with work. Trying to avoid work can be especially hard when you’re spending so much time at home. But, have no fear, W4MP comes to you with a solution! Below are a list of fun activities to keep you busy, keep you thinking, and keep you sane. 

Online Activities to keep you busy offline during the lockdown

Here are some activities that we think will help you stay busy during the lockdown.

Fitness and Exercise

  • If you’re missing the gym, or want to get into exercise for the first time, then P.E with JOE is probably the best place to start. Joe offers a really wide array of online classes that are suited to people of all abilities.
  • If you’re looking for something a bit more structured, then maybe online yoga is for you. Yoga with Adriene varies from soft and gentle to thoroughly exhausting.


  • There are two kinds of people during a lockdown. People making sourdough and people struggling to find flour. If you’re in the former camp then Breadahead’s online baking course is for you. Live at 2pm (GMT) everyday on Instagram live, Breadahead teaches you how to make a wide variety of loaves from Focaccia to Ciabatta.


  • Knitting is a wonderful hobby to pickup during these strange times. Meditative, calming and you get a jumper at the end. Arne and Carlos’ brilliant knitting youtube channel is a great place to go if you want to get started but don’t know how.

Time Limited Online Classical Music, Theatre, and Ballet

With so much time being spent at home its easy to forget about all the fun, enriching and inspiring things we used to love seeing and listening to outside of the house. Luckily, theatre, ballet, and classical music are not a thing of the past because, thanks to the magic of technology, world leading performances are now just a click away. Here’s list of fun, interesting and entertaining cultural events that you can check in on during the lockdown. We’ll be updating them regularly, so please feel free to contact us with suggestions 

  • Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre is streaming all of their opera and ballet performances on YouTube
  • The National Theatre will be streaming plays live on YouTube every Thursday from 4th April.
  • The MET Opera in New York will be streaming live every day through their membership app. Recordings will be a available for 24 hours from 7.30pm EDT to 6.30am (11:30pm to 10:30am GMT)
  • The Royal Opera House is offering a free programme of curated online broadcasts available on demand, for free, via the their Facebook and YouTube channels.
Theatre Opera and BalletBaking
National Theatre: One Man, Two Guvnors
7pm Thursday 2nd April
The Royal Opera: Così fan tutte, 2010 – 10 April 2020, 7pm BSTChocolate Chip American Cookies 08/04/2020
National Theatre: Jane Eyre Thursday 9 April at 7pm.The Royal Ballet: The Metamorphosis, 2013 – 17 April 2020, 7pm BSTAmeretti - 09/04/2020
Hot Cross Buns - 10/03/2020

Daily Update 03/04/2020


Today saw the opening of the new 4,000 bed hospital in the ExCel centre in London, the first of the government’s emergency field hospitals built to treat Coronavirus in the City. The hospital was opened in nine days and has so far been fitted with 500 beds. 

The death toll increased again today up to 684 in the past 24 hours. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who continues to give the daily briefing in place of the Prime Minister, stood by the government’s commitment to increase testing to 100,000 by the end of this month. The government was again challenged on the lack of widespread and affective antibody tests, after promising 2.4 million working tests within days on 25th March. In his briefing the Health Secretary stated that the government is still looking for an effective antibody test. 

It was Jeremy Corbyn last day as leader of the Labour Party today, in his email to Party members he described his time as leader as having been an “honour”. 

Daily Update 02/04/2020


The death toll in the UK increased once again to 569, setting another record. There have now been 2,921 deaths as a result of Covid-19. 

Concerns remain around the government’s lack of testing for NHS staff. However, the government has stood by their commitment to increase testing throughout the population, promising to have 100,000 tests a day by the end of April. 

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock took to the podium to give the daily Coronavirus update after self-isolating since the 27th March. 

Further support was also promised to the NHS in the form of a £13.4 billion write-off of NHS debt. In addition to this debt relief additional support was also given to the health sector in the form of a £300 million made available to community pharmacies to support their business. 

In party political news, the Labour leadership elections came to an end today. Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancreas, is largely expected to win. 

Daily Update 01/04/2020


As of today we will be posting a short daily summary of the latest Covid-19 news, focusing on the most important stories of the day. Our aim is try and highlight the issues which we think will be most relevant to people working in Parliament.

Today saw the largest increase in UK Covid-19 deaths in a single day since the pandemic began. Of the 563 people that have died, the youngest was only thirteen years old. 

Politically, the main story today has been the government’s pledge to test NHS staff. So far 2,000 NHS staff have been tested out of a total 500,000, a disparity which has led to the government receiving criticism. The government maintains that their strategy is to increase the amount of testing taking place amongst NHS workers and the population as a whole.  

The government has also promised an additional £12 billion to local authorities in England to support business. Local authorities have been urged by the government to distribute these funds as quickly as possible. 

Hotlines List Update


The Hotlines List was updated on 31 March 2020.

Please always ensure that you are using the current version of the hotlines list on the intranet, as copies saved to your computer or printed out may be out-of-date, and we sometimes get complaints from organisations when people use out-of-date information.

Please go here to see the new information and the link to the list.

Free Online Webinar: Recap of the major benefits changes and Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Policy in Practice are presenting a free online webinar: Recap of the major benefits changes and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

10:30 – 11:30, Wednesday 8 April 2020

Registration required: http://policyinpractice.co.uk/events/

As new measures to control Coronavirus (COVID-19) are introduced Policy in Practice’s Head of Policy, Zoe Charlesworth, summarises the major changes to the welfare system that have been made.

Zoe will also share new analysis we’ve done to show the impact of the new measures and how they will help households hit by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Join this webinar to learn:

  • What benefits people in different situations might get
  • How to get the most support for families and households
  • What the impact of the 3 main changes mean for households

NEW: Coronavirus Hub on the intranet


There is now a Coronavirus Hub on the parliamentary intranet.

It contains everything you need to know about Parliament’s response to coronavirus, including how to work remotely, what services are available and how access has been affected.  It is for Members of  both Houses, staff in the Lords, Commons and PDS and people who work for MPs and Members of the House of Lords.

Please click here to access it: https://intranet.parliament.uk/employment/health-and-wellbeing/coronavirus-hub/