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Angela Rayner has called on Boris Johnson to ensure that no woman is forced to give birth alone due to coronavirus restrictions.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Labour’s deputy leader asked Mr Johnson to meet her and other MPs to discuss their concerns.

But the PM replied that he would encourage health ministers to take the matter forward.

During the coronavirus pandemic some hospitals banned partners from attending antenatal appointments, including scans, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Others said partners could only be present when women were in the later stages of labour.

NHS leaders last week published guidance on how hospitals can safely “reintroduce” partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women to maternity services in England.

Ms Rayner said: “We’ve heard of relatives dying alone in care homes and people not being able to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Angela Rayner has called on Boris Johnson to ensure that no woman is forced to give birth alone due to coronavirus restrictions (PA)

“We’ve also heard from mothers who have had to give birth without the support of their partners or their family.

“The Health Secretary yesterday said that the new guidance had been issued, but even under that new guidance many birth partners will not be allowed to join until that moment of established labour, leaving women enduring difficult labours or even worse, traumatic and devastating miscarriages alone without support.

“Will the Prime Minister agree to meet with me and my honourable friends and work with us to ensure that no woman is forced to give birth without the support that they need?”

Mr Johnson replied: “I totally agree that birth partners should be able to attend the birth, that’s why we changed the guidance in the way that we did.

“But of course I’m very happy to encourage co-operation between her and my right honourable friends in the Health Department to take the matter forward.”

Ms Rayner later told the Commons: “This winter, we are staring down the barrel of a second wave with no plan for the looming crisis.

“People can’t say goodbye to their loved ones, grandparents can’t see their grandchildren and frontline staff can’t get the tests that they need – and what was the top priority for the Covid war cabinet this weekend? Restoring grouse shooting.”

She added: “So Prime Minister, is this really your top priority?”

Mr Johnson said while Labour has been “consistently carping from the sidelines throughout this crisis” the Government has been “getting on with delivering for the British public”.

Angela Rayner claims PM ‘cannot deliver’ on Covid-19 testing promises

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey also called on the Government to “protect the rights to care of disabled people and act lawfully” during the pandemic.

He said: “Research by the Disabled Children’s Partnership shows that three quarters of families with disabled children had their care support stopped during lockdown.

“The Coronavirus Act is partly to blame as it relaxed the duties to assess and meet the needs of disabled people.

“As the father of a disabled child and the patron of the Disability Law Service, I’ve seen legal advice that suggests that his Government broke international law in how the Coronavirus Act reduced the rights of disabled people.

“So before this House is asked to renew the Coronavirus Act, will he meet with me to discuss how we protect the rights to care of disabled people and act lawfully?”

Mr Johnson responded: “I must say to him I’m not aware of that particular allegation about the legal effects of the Coronavirus Act and would be only too happy to write to him very shortly to clarify the matter.”