Cheadle MP votes against motion to provide weekly testing for NHS staff

  • Motion put forward to ensure weekly testing for all NHS staff was voted down by 300 votes
  • Some MPs who voted against the motion claim it was put forward for 'political point scoring'
  • Cheadle MP Mary Robinson voted again proposal


More than 300 Conservative MPs voted against a motion which would have meant weekly testing for NHS and care staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The motion was put forward by Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Jon Ashworth and Liz Kendall in order to protect those working on the frontline and patients in the healthcare system.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth stated: “Ministers tell us the NHS has ‘coped’ through the Covid-19 peak but that was on the back of cancelled operations, delayed scans and diagnostic tests.

He said that the best solution to clear this backlog would be to introduce weekly Covid-19 testing, to check if any staff were asymptomatic.

However this motion was voted down by 331 Conservative MPs.

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaned in favour, saying the “costs are small compared to the cost of a second wave“, before then voting against the motion.

One of the MPs who voted against weekly testing was Mary Robinson, MP for the Cheadle constituency in Greater Manchester.

She told NQ: “The approach on the testing of NHS staff has been determined by clinical experts, including the chief medical officer, and the NHS has now set out plans for how it will work.

“This includes continuing to prioritise testing of all NHS staff with symptoms, regular testing of asymptomatic staff in situations where there is an incident or outbreak, and regular surveillance testing across staff.

“We are taking a targeted approach to this testing, so that it is focused on the most high-risk areas.

“For example, staff working with patients on wards will benefit from regular testing far more than NHS staff working in offices or administrative roles where they do not come into contact with patients.

“We will continue to support our brilliant NHS staff throughout the pandemic, ensuring they have access to the equipment, tests and support they need as they continue to control the virus and save lives.”

The MP took to Twitter to clarify her stance on regular testing for NHS staff despite voting against the motion.

She stated that some parties were ‘resorting to political point scoring’, and that she is ‘in favour of the NHS staff testing policy as advised by the CMO’.