Labour MP Chris Matheson tests positive for coronavirus

13 October 2020, 18:21 | Updated: 13 October 2020, 18:35

Chris Matheson is self-isolating
Chris Matheson is self-isolating. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Labour MP Chris Matheson has revealed he is self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.

The City of Chester MP, who is shadow minister for media, announced his diagnosis on his Facebook page.

He said: "After feeling ill last Saturday, I went for a coronavirus test at Deeside and tested positive. The symptoms aren't very pleasant, but I don't have it nearly as badly as many others.

"I now have to stay at home and can't attend Parliament in person, but will have a proxy vote which will be cast by one of the opposition whips on my behalf.

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"I am trying to rest as much as possible, though I will continue to try and answer my emails and my staff will still be working. I would like to thank them for keeping the show on the road, as they always do.

"Once the symptoms are over, I will have to isolate but my team and I are still here. You must continue to get in touch if there is an issue that you need help with, and if I can't deal with this in person my staff will be on hand to assist."

He joins a growing number of MPs who have been tested for the virus.

In early September, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tested negative for the virus but was forced to self-isolate and miss Prime Minister's questions after one of his children showed symptoms.

He said that his family was able to access a coronavirus test only because his wife works in the NHS, and branded the situation “completely unacceptable”.

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And early on in the year, members of the cabinet including Matt Hancock, Nadine Dorries and the Prime Minister all tested positive for the virus, with Boris Johnson being put into intensive care.

Lloyd Russel-Moyle MP and Kate Osborne MP also tested positive in March.

SNP MP Margaret Ferrier also received a barrage of criticism after travelling from Glasgow to London with Covid-19 symptoms last month, then returning home after testing positive.

The SNP suspended Ms Ferrier and the Metropolitan Police is investigating the incident.

Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said she "couldn't be clearer" and Ms Ferrier should resign.

The MP has since said that she "panicked" and insisted she followed the rules.

"A lot of people say Covid makes you do things out of character. You're not thinking straight," she said.