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Stone to stay in north as Covid-19 cases increase

By Alan Hendry

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North MP Jamie Stone has announced that he will not travel to Westminster until further notice as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Mr Stone secured a guarantee from Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, that carers like himself could participate virtually and have a proxy vote providing there was a risk to public health.

As coronavirus cases in the Highlands surpassed 800 today, Mr Stone announced to his constituents that he had chosen fellow Liberal Democrat Wendy Chamberlain, the MP for North East Fife, to cast votes on his behalf.

He says this will allow him to vote in support of UK food standards as the House of Commons votes on the Agriculture Bill.

Speaking to his Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituents, Mr Stone, whose home is in Tain, said: “The situation is rapidly changing – I have to take each day as it comes.

"With cases on the rise both north and south of the border, I have decided to stay put in the north until further notice. As my wife's carer, I cannot afford to be stranded in London for two weeks.

"I have no intention of putting any of my constituents, or indeed my wife, at risk of contracting coronavirus.

"Thanks to a few strong words with Mr Rees-Mogg earlier on this year, I am able to get a proxy vote in the House of Commons. This means I will be able to represent the interests of the north in tonight's votes on the Agriculture Bill.

"I will be voting for the Lords' amendments to ensure our food standards are not abandoned, and to strengthen the powers of the Trade and Agriculture Commission."

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