STUDENTS from the University of York have displayed their disappointment at comments from York Outer MP, Julian Sturdy, which they state blames students for an increase in Covid cases in the area.

President of University of York students' union, Patrick O'Donnell, wrote a letter to Mr Sturdy on behalf of the union expressing the group's concerns.

The letter states: "We are writing to you to convey our disappointment in your tweet from October 15 which appears to directly blame students for the rise in coronavirus cases in York."

Mr Sturdy's message on Twittet can be seen below:


The letter from the students goes on to explain comments made from Sharon Stotlz, the York Director of Public Health.

The letter reads: "Sharon Stotlz has explicitly said York's rise cannot be attributed to students.

"It's worth bearing in mind that students have been at the forefront of working in our NHS, in supermarkets and fundraising and volunteering across our city over the last eight months"

The students explain that they are disappointed that the MP has adopted an "us and them approach," suggesting that this will not solve the problem of an increasing number of cases.

The letter goes on to say: "We can all agree that further clarity in respect of restrictions and cases is needed to benefit all across our city, but I would like to urge you to continue to press for the continued resourcing and funding of testing and tracing facilities, which are ultimately for the benefit of everyone in York.

"We are pleased with the collaborative approach taken by our University with colleagues across the city, which have helped keep us safe.

"Government have been calling for unity and cohesion and I feel your decision to ignore the Director of Public Health for York's judgement and attack students is not in keeping with the spirit of inclusion that will serve York well."

The union are now waiting for a response from Mr Sturdy to discuss how they can work together as one community with the shared purpose of protecting everyone both in York, and beyond.