Health minister becomes first MP to be diagnosed with coronavirus

Nadine Dorries with Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA.

Nadine Dorries with Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA. - Credit: PA

Tory Brexiteer MP Nadine Dorries has become the first politician in parliament to test positive for the coronavirus.

Dorries, a junior health minister who overses patient safety, is not sure how she contracted the Covid-19 virus but officials are now scrambling to try and reach those she has met since she fell ill.

The politician had attended an International Women's Day reception at Downing Street on Thursday evening with Boris Johnson and developed the symptoms hours after.

Despite this, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire continued with a surgery in her constituency for 50 people on Saturday.

The diagnosis was only confirmed on Tuesday evening after being placed in isolation.

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In a statement to the BBC, Dorries said: 'I can confirm I have tested positive for coronavirus.

'As soon as I was informed I took all advised precautions and have been self isolating at home.

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'Public Health England has started detailed contact tracing and the department and my parliamentary office are closely following their advice.'

Health secretary Matt Hancock said that she 'has done the right thing by self isolating at home' after she tested positive.

He added: 'We wish her well as she recovers'.

Parliamentarians have so far resisted a possibility that the House of Commons and Lords could be suspended until the end of September, claiming it would send the wrong signal to the British public.

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