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UK health minister offers parliament more say in coronavirus measures

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock arrives to attend a Cabinet meeting of senior government ministers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, Britain, September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - British health minister Matt Hancock promised on Wednesday that the government would involve parliament more in decisions on any new national restrictions to stem the rise in coronavirus cases.

“Today I can confirm to the House (of Commons) that for significant national measures with effect in the whole of England or UK-wide we will consult parliament, wherever possible we will hold votes before such regulations come into force,” he told parliament.

“But of course responding to the virus means that the government must act at speed when required and we cannot hold up urgent regulations which are needed to control the virus and save lives.”

Reporting by William James, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Alistair Smout