I have joined a cross-party group of MPs, Peers and Mayors to write to the Prime Minister urging him to support the campaign for the Covid Memorial Wall outside Parliament to become a permanent site.
Hand-drawn red hearts have been covering the wall opposite Parliament since March, as bereaved families visit the site to add messages for their loved ones. It has since become a place for people to come together, to reflect on the tragedy of what has happened, and to begin to heal.
The letter states: “Given the poignancy of this site, the need to give grieving families a place to mourn their loved ones, and your previous commitment to a national Covid memorial, we, the undersigned, support calls to make this wall of hearts a permanent memorial to the victims of the pandemic.”
The campaign is spearheaded by Afzal Khan, MP for Manchester Gorton, who lost his mum and both his parents-in-law to coronavirus and has been working with Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice on securing the future of the wall.
Among the signatories of this letter are over 160 MPs from across the House of Commons as well as numerous members of the House of Lords. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and Florence Eshalomi MP, in whose constituency the wall is situated, are also signatories.
This site of remembrance, developed and created by bereaved families, is a powerful reminder of the human cost of the pandemic. Many people in Preston, like thousands across the country, have suffered immense loss during this past year. My thoughts are with all those who are grieving loved ones and with our NHS workers who have worked tirelessly to save so many lives. I am proud to support this campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall and will continue to work with bereaved families to ensure their voices are heard.