BURNLEY MP Antony Higginbotham has urged the government to press the Chinese government to share what they know about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

He asked Nigel Adams, minister for Asia: “Whether you have had discussions with your Chinese counterpart on the source of the Covid-19 outbreak. The Covid-19 pandemic has had huge implications for the global economy, for our constituents and for billions of people around the world. And so it’s vital that we learn the lessons and don’t brush anything under the carpet for fear of reprisal.

“With President Biden having asked US intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of the pandemic, could the your reassure me that we will be playing our full part in those efforts and that we’ll be putting pressure on the Chinese Government to make sure that they behave in a much more transparent way than they have done to date?”

Mr Adams said: “You will know phase one of the World Health Organisation Covid-19 origin study was always meant to be the beginning of the process not the end.”

Mr Higginbotham said: “Whilst the focus of our efforts has rightly been on protecting our citizens from this deadly disease it’s important that we get to the bottom of the origins of Covid-19 because it’s absolutely vital that we understand it’s cause to learn the lessons for the future.

“And whilst we know that the virus originated in China a much more transparent approach needs to now be taken.”