Blog: Alison Mackenzie on life back in Westminster in the shadow of Covid-19

Arriving at Victoria station Credit: ITV Central

My first experience of wearing a face covering on my train into Victoria - my first chance to witness MPs speaking in the chamber to each other rather than to me via a Zoom interview.

The sunshine makes it a pleasant experience but as everywhere there is a very different feel to the way life is being conducted here.

Prime Minister's questions in the House of Commons was dominated by on-going concerns about the changes being brought in to the lockdown rules.

The Newcastle Under Lyme MP Aaron Bell among those asking for extra support to be made available for those businesses in the hospitality sector fighting to stay afloat. There are also regular questions such as the one asked by the South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa raising concerns about plans for a local waste recycling plant.

What was interesting was seeing the effects of the lockdown in the immediate vicinity of Westminster. Some familiar sandwich shops are completely boarded up -does that mean they have gone out of business? The roads around the Palace of Westminster are also significantly quieter and a fraction of the normal number of people are walking around.

Westminster Hall where MPs have to line up 2 metres apart to vote . Credit: Alison Mackenzie

In the building called Portcullis House where there is normally lots of hustle and bustle with MPs holding meetings with constituents and lobby groups it was virtually empty.

There appear to be more police and security officers than elected members.

All quiet compared to how it was packed with crews from all over the world covering Brexit Credit: Alison Mackenzie

I will enjoy doing my live broadcast from my familiar position on the green but I expect to be possibly the only journalist doing so. It is all so very different to when the green was packed with journalists and camera crews from around the world coveringBrexit. It seems a lifetime away!