Tory MP’s secretary says ‘infuriating’ civil service coronavirus response is ‘costing people’s lives’

PUBLISHED: 17:00 28 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:58 29 April 2020

Sue Connelly, secretary to Andrew Rosindell MP, said 'infuriating' bureaucracy was costing people's lives.

Sue Connelly, secretary to Andrew Rosindell MP, said 'infuriating' bureaucracy was costing people's lives.

Twitter - @AndrewRosindell

Sue Connelly, long-serving secretary to Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, blasted civil servants’ slow reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic

Sue Connelly has worked for Tory MP Andrew Rosindell for almost 20 years.Sue Connelly has worked for Tory MP Andrew Rosindell for almost 20 years.

The long-serving secretary to Romford’s Tory MP has hit out at the government’s handling of the coronavirus.

Sue Connelly, 71, who has worked for Andrew Rosindell for almost 20 years, said protective equipment (PPE) shortages and unreliable food orders had led to her lugging face masks and bags of potatoes to doctors’ surgeries and care homes.

She said bureaucracy was “costing people’s lives”.

Mrs Connelly, the secretary at Mr Rosindell’s constituency office, told the Romford Recorder: “These civil servants and pen-pushers are not getting anywhere.”

She said Mr Rosindell’s office had been in contact with doctors who had been left treating patients without the right face masks, care homes struggling to acquire food for their elderly residents, and a professor who had access to hundreds of ventilators but claimed he couldn’t get anybody in government to listen to him.

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Mrs Connelly said: “He said he’d got 550 or 600 of the positive pressure ventilators that he could get his hands on and I don’t mean to be rude, but they have been messing about up in government. I say government – it’s the civil servants, because it’s, ‘You’ve got to fill this form and that form in’.

“It’s been happening so long, holding them up, and they are so vexed by it all that they are threatening to sell it all abroad instead.

“It’s all these civil servants holding things up. They are costing people’s lives. They could have all this machinery. All these pen-pushers. It infuriates me.”

Mrs Connelly said she believed she might face consequences for speaking out but told the Recorder: “I’ve just given up. I don’t care now. I’m too old.”

She said she had also sourced protective face masks and delivered them to doctors and carers, and bought a car-load of vegetables to deliver to local care homes.

She explained: “The chain they were using weren’t coming back to them or giving them any delivery slots. It was in a right state and PPE has been touch-and-go for them as well.

“It’s just nice to know that people have got the stuff they need, rather than wait for the powers that be.”

The Department for Health did not respond to a request for comment, but has previously said more than 750million pieces of PPE have been distributed across the UK, with a new, 24/7 military operation underway to manage supply and demand.

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