EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: The tragedy of those empty chairs at the Christmas table

We are approaching the end of another difficult year.

This Christmas for many will have been the first time there was an empty chair at their table.

For others they will be worried about their business and jobs as the hospitality and entertainment industry, bars, pubs, restaurants, taxi firms remain anxious that the Government will try and impose more restrictions on them.

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Others such as freelancers and the self-employed are still fighting for proper Government support.

Our key workers in the NHS, care workers, shop workers, social services, posties, council workers, charities, and foodbanks have once again been there for us this year.

Our community here in South Shields has again shown the very best of us, people every single day going out of their way to support others.

The Government by comparison have used the pandemic to make eye-watering amounts of money for them, their friends and Tory donors, used it as an excuse to curtail our freedoms and liberties and as a cover for introducing pernicious and draconian legislation.

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But the worst of it is that they repeatedly broke the rules we all adhered to, whilst loved ones couldn’t say that final goodbye.

Whilst vulnerable relatives and friends weren’t able to leave their homes Number 10, the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet were in full party mode.

Considering we have one of the highest death tolls in the world from Covid and one of the worst performing economies with the cost-of-living crisis about to hit hard in January, what on earth did they have to celebrate?

As we enter 2022 I assure you, I will continue to fight for us every single day.

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I know you will all continue to be the best constituents there are, I know you will keep showing the rest of the country how special our community is.

It is an honour to represent all of you. I hope you all have a peaceful New Year and I look forward to seeing you in 2022.