Burnley MP says investigations must continue into origins of Covid-19

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham has asked the minister of state for Asia what part the UK is playing in finding out the origins of Covid-19

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 3:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 3:17 pm

Following on from discussions that took place at the G7 last week, a number of potential theories are now circulating as to the cause of Covid, with investigations ongoing.

Phase one of the investigation has already taken place, and with the US President stepping up efforts to study the origins of the virus, Mr Higginbotham asked the minister what part the UK will be playing.

Speaking in the Commons, he said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had huge implications for the global economy, for our constituents across this house and for billions of people around the world. And so it’s vital that we learn the lessons and don’t brush anything under the carpet for fear of reprisal.

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said it was absolutely vital we get to the bottom of the origins of Covid-19.
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said it was absolutely vital we get to the bottom of the origins of Covid-19.

“With President Biden having asked US intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of the pandemic, could the minister reassure me and the house that we will be playing our full part in those efforts and that we’ll be putting pressure on the Chinese Government to make sure that they behave in a much more transparent way than they have done to date.”

Responding, the minister for Asia said: “Well my honourable friend is absolutely right to raise this and he will know that phase one of the WHO Covid-19 origin study was always meant to be the beginning of the process not the end.

"We’re working with international partners to support the timely transparent, evidence based an expert led Phase two study - including as recommended by the experts report in China.

"WHO director general Tedros Ghebreyesus said that all hypothesis remain open and further data and studies are required . As such…we expect all WHO member states to live up to their responsibilities and cooperate with Phase two.”

Commenting afterwards, Mr Higginbotham said: “Whilst the focus of our efforts has rightly been on protecting our citizens from this deadly disease it’s important that we get to the bottom of the origins of Covid-19.

"Because it’s absolutely vital that we understand it’s cause in order to learn the lessons for the future. And whilst we know that the virus originated in China a much more transparent approach needs to now be taken as we move to Phase 2 of the investigation."