Jo Stevens: Exuberant support for Covid’s MP in Hospital

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Among those sending good wishes to shadow the culture secretary are Matt Hancock, Keir Starmer and Mark Drakeford.
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Politicians from both political camps have extended their best wishes to Labour MP and Secretary of Shadow Culture Jo Stevens, who is being treated for coronavirus in a hospital. “According to a statement from her team, the Cardiff Central MP is “out with Covid for a while” on New Year’s Eve, and she tweeted from her account on Saturday: “Jo asked us to let you know that she is being treated for Covid in hospital. The 54-year-old was elected in the 2015 election and won the Liberal Democrats’ seat for Labour.

Under Jeremy Corbyn, she was briefly shadow state secretary for Wales. She is the fourth MP known to have been hospitalized with covid, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in April ended up in intensive care. Her Labour colleagues Yasmin Qureshi and Tony Lloyd were also hospitalized, with Lloyd spending 10 days in an induced coma on a ventilator.

She described the “excruciating pain” caused by bouts of coughing and pneumonia in an interview with the Guardian last month as the illness took hold. News of Stevens’ disease prompted congratulations from across the House of Commons. Health Minister Matt Hancock said he wished Stevens a “rapid recovery.” Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, tweeted, “Get well Jo, a dear friend and colleague.” Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said, “Mark Drakeford, First Minister for Wales, said, ” She wrote to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden in November urging the government to clamp down on “anti-vax” material providing sites. Stevens advocated for more funding for the cultural sector during the pandemic, which she said was in “utter despair,” telling MPs in October: “In the arts and cultural sector, experienced, skilled and talented live performers and the people who create, produce and deliver these commercially successful events are treated by the Treasury as if their jobs are just hobbies.”

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