MPs and peers observe Covid-19 protocols as parliamentary session ends

The Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament (PA Archive)
16:55pm, Thu 29 Apr 2021
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Social distancing measures were observed by MPs and peers during a traditional ceremony to prorogue Parliament.

Around 20 MPs, led by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, wore face masks as they left the Commons chamber in single file rather than side-by-side.

Their attendance in the Lords had been requested by Black Rod Sarah Clarke, a senior Lords officer tasked with leading the ceremony.

Four Conservative MPs, including former minister Jackie Doyle-Price, returned to the Commons early due to a lack of space in the Lords to watch proceedings.

An announcement from the Queen, read out by the Lords Leader Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, set out legislation passed during the parliamentary session and other measures taken by the Government.

The landmark Domestic Abuse Act was among several new laws to receive royal assent in a final legislative push ahead of the temporary suspension of Parliament.

Both Houses will return on Tuesday May 11.

A Queen’s Speech to announce the Government’s legislative programme for the new parliamentary session will take place on that day.

The prorogation ceremony brought to an end a parliamentary session that began on December 19 2019, with the State Opening of Parliament following the general election.

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