Responding to the statistics released on victims of modern slavery in Quarter 1 2020, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
"The extent of modern slavery here in the UK is shocking. As coronavirus has spread, so has modern slavery yet the Government is failing to act on this rise we have seen since last year.
"The coronavirus crisis has seen thousands of people lose their livelihoods overnight and Ministers simply are not doing enough to prevent people from falling into financial hardship and then, tragically in too many cases falling into modern slavery. The fact that some of the most vulnerable in our society are being left at risk shows the urgent need for the Government to act.
"Enforcement agencies must be able to conduct labour inspections and act to prevent exploitation during the pandemic. This requires not only workplace inspectors to be provided with sufficient personal protective equipment, but they need additional funding to ensure they can enact additional preventative measures in high-risk sectors.
"Modern slavery is a scourge on our society, it is time the Government acted to eradicate it."