MP learns of friend’s Covid-19 death shortly before making Commons speech

A Conservative MP fought back tears after learning a friend had died of Covid-19 shortly before she made a House of Commons speech.

Andrea Jenkyns (Morley and Outwood), who has performed as a singer, paid tribute to her former band member after rising to her feet to contribute to a debate about post-Brexit fishing policy.

Ms Jenkyns told MPs: “If I may just take a few moments, I’ve just received a text message alerting me to the news that a good friend of mine and former guitarist and former band member has just died following a two-day battle with coronavirus.

“I just want to send my love and prayers to his wife and pay tribute to a gentle giant and an awesome guitarist, and a true family man.

“So rest in peace, Steve.”

Ms Jenkyns’s voice cracked with emotion as she then started to speak about the Fisheries Bill.

The MP pushed through and was able to deliver her remarks on the legislation.