As I write plans are afoot to greatly expand the powers of the World Health Organisation.

These changes would see the organisation go from an advisory body to one which would control and dictate how the UK handles any future pandemic.

It would be able to compel the UK parliament to lockdown and close borders, and on top of that it would have the power to compel the UK to pay five per cent of the health budget to it each year and an unspecified amount of GDP to pay for pandemic preparedness.

Many constituents have contacted me concerned about these changes and recently 295 signed a petition calling for a debate in Parliament, unhappy that WHO would move from an advisory body to an authority with powers of compulsion.

For this reason, I have led the charge in asking for parliamentary scrutiny on this issue.

Working with a team of MPs I have written to the Foreign Office asking for any expansion of these powers to be first debated in the House of Commons.

People rightly want transparency in such organisations - as they do over their MPs - and concerns have been raised over links of the leadership of WHO and the Chinese government and also how many of the projects are funded by individuals’ foundations.

Discussions over the proposed changes are happening now and the first set of inter government meetings have taken place.

It could all be agreed by next May – long before our Covid enquiry reports.

We need a full and robust debate in Parliament and I have made it clear government must commit to tabling both draft texts for parliamentary debate before they are finalised by the negotiating bodies.

These powers would be handed over to an unaccountable and unelected body – this is too serious an issue to allow to go ahead without MPs scrutinising the proposals and tabling amendments before a final vote.

Coordination and cooperation in a public health emergency is sensible but forcing measures on the UK without us having the final say is not acceptable.

This is not about opposing the World Health Organisation, I support transparency, co-operation, and co-ordination, but it is only right the British public and Parliament get a say before powers are handed over to an unaccountable international organisation.