13 May 2020

House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised for calling on MPs to return to Parliament 'soon' to 'set example'

(The Telegraph) House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has been criticised after calling on MPs to return to Parliament ‘soon’.

The 50-year-old Tory insisted he did not want the remote alternative arrangements for the House of Commons extended beyond June 2.

Some commuters returned to work in London this week after lockdown measures were eased (PA Images)

Speaking about MPs debating over video call, he said: “It is my expectation that I will not have to renew these temporary standing orders again.

"It is clear that soon parliament must set an example of how we move back gradually to a fully-functioning country again.

"While we must move in step with public health guidance, it is vital that when we are asking other people to work and go to their places of work if they cannot do so from home we should not be the ones who are exempt from that."

However, his comments have been criticised by the Labour party as they do not fall in line with the government's guidelines for the rest of the country.

A spokesman for Labour told The Telegraph: "Today's surprise announcement that ministers expect parliament to return to business as usual in the next few weeks and end the successful hybrid virtual system flies in the face of the government's own public health advice and its message to work from home where possible.

"The priority must be protecting the health and well-being of all those who work in parliament.

"Ministers must publish the public health advice as a matter of urgency."

The ‘hybrid Parliament' format, which currently sees some MPs in the House of Commons and others working remotely, has been extended until May 20.

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