It is fantastic news that the UK Government has finally listened to the calls of myself, my parliamentary neighbour Jon Cruddas, as well as many other Labour colleagues, and removed Pakistan from the travel Red List.

The decision to add Pakistan to the list almost six months ago left many Ilford South families stranded abroad. Their only other option was to enter forced quarantine for ten days upon return, paying extortionate hotel fees.

It was a disgrace for Pakistan to have been kept on the list for so long. It had lower Covid rates than many other countries on the amber list.

I’m delighted that our collective efforts have led to the Government finally seeing sense.

I had recently met with Jon Cruddas MP and the International Professional Council to lobby to bring Pakistan off the Red List. I had previously written to the Government on behalf of many constituents who had written to me on the issue, and spoken up in Parliament to encourage this move.

Thank you to everyone in the Ilford South Pakistani community who has contacted me about this issue. This couldn’t have been achieved without your extraordinary activism!