BRADFORD East MP Imran Hussain has blasted the Health Secretary for failing to reply to a letter of concern he sent three months ago.

Mr Hussain sent the letter to Matt Hancock in November raising concerns he had heard from constituents being denied or unable to apply for the £500 self-isolation payment after testing positive for Covid-19 despite being eligible to receive it.

Earlier today, in the House of Commons, Mr Hussain asked why he has not received a response to these serious concerns after three months.

In response, health minister Jo Churchill said Mr Hancock “assured her” he has seen the letter, and said it was important people understand they need to self-isolate, and are given the right assistance to do so.

She said work is being done with councils to ensure people are being support.

Following the exchange, Mr Hussain said: “It is absolutely outrageous the Health Secretary and the Government have been sitting on these serious concerns I raised with them three months ago.

"Despite being aware of the challenges that people have faced in accessing the self-isolation support scheme, they have still left them unaddressed.

“To ensure we can stop the spread of Coronavirus and to keep infection rates down over a sustained period, we have to make sure all those people who need to self-isolate can afford to do so without having to worry about whether they can keep a roof over their head or put food on the table because they’re unable to work.

“The self-isolation support payment scheme should therefore be a key plank of the Government’s strategy in getting to grips with the spread of Coronavirus, which is why it is even more astounding and inexplicable that they still haven’t taken on board or responded to my concerns around flaws limiting the scheme’s effectiveness.

"They have to urgently get a grip of this situation, and they can start by addressing the still outstanding issues that I raised.”