Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:11 pm on 26th September 2019.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 2:11 pm, 26th September 2019

That last point is absolutely true: we all have more that unites us than divides us. I congratulate my hon. Friend who has made a real mark in this area, particularly as the world’s first loneliness Minister. The whole House will welcome all that she has done, and continues to do, to build on the legacy of Jo Cox.

People who are lonely are more likely to be readmitted to hospital, visit a GP or go to accident and emergency, enter local authority residential care, and perform poorly at work. All that comes at a cost to the individual, communities, employers, and public services, and we want to do everything we can to ease those burdens. Tackling loneliness requires society-wide change, and we have worked in partnership with businesses to capture and share the work they are doing to help to tackle loneliness in the wider community, and encourage employers to tackle loneliness among their employees. It is difficult to promise to hold that particular debate in Government time, but if the House is reopened on 14 October with a Queen’s Speech, that is the time to raise any issue that right hon. and hon. Members feel is suitable, and a good occasion to bring such matters to wider attention.