'So many people to thank after another tough year'

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq

Tulip Siddiq urges constituents to stay safe while celebrating this Christmas - Credit: Office of Tulip Siddiq

I want to wish everyone in Hampstead and Kilburn a very merry Christmas. 2021 has been another tough year. This Christmas, my thoughts will be with all those who have tragically lost friends or family during the pandemic, and everyone living with financial hardship and anxiety.

I wanted to pay tribute to constituents who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic by organising the Hampstead and Kilburn Community Champion Awards 2021. I was delighted to present community champion awards to inspiring organisations and individuals including the children’s charity I Can Dance, Shanin Rahman for his work with Age UK Camden, Denise Dodd and Tiziana Falco from Advice for Renters, community campaigner Dayo Williams and Stephanie Schonfield who has worked so hard to keep Kensal Rise Library open.

The award for "outstanding contribution" went to Raymond Simonson and Jacob Forman from JW3 for their fantastic foodbank programme.

I know many of you are rightly concerned about the Omicron variant which is spreading rapidly through London. With Covid-19 cases rising, it's important that we all do our best to follow the rules to stay safe while celebrating this Christmas.

I want to say thank you to all NHS workers and everyone involved in delivering the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Hampstead and Kilburn, who are working so hard to keep us safe. We are still learning about Omicron, but there is one thing we can already be sure of: this Christmas, the best way to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the NHS is to get vaccinated and boosted.

I was proud to vote through the new Covid-19 regulations to limit the spread of Omicron. But new restrictions need to be accompanied by support for businesses and workers. That’s why I am calling on the government to introduce a package of business support and decent sick pay for those who have to isolate at home, to support people in Hampstead and Kilburn through the winter period.

I know the last 18 months haven’t been easy, but I hope you all are able to celebrate with loved ones and find joy this Christmas.

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Tulip Siddiq is Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn.

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