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Business of the House

Part of Transport – in the House of Commons at 10:32 am on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:32 am, 12th March 2020

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that point. Yes, indeed, I would like to record our thanks to the people working in the House who are ensuring that it is kept open, which is of the greatest importance. As my right hon. Friend the Health Secretary said yesterday,

“we have resolved that we will keep Parliament open…the ability to hold the Government to account and to legislate are as vital in a time of emergency as in normal times. Our democracy is the foundation of our way of life.”—[Official Report, 11 March 2020;
Vol. 673, c. 377.]

This is of fundamental importance. I can tell the House that our security and frontline staff, including catering staff, are going to be briefed in the same way as people in the Border Force, and that will take place later today. We are trying to make sure—again, Public Health England is being extremely helpful in ensuring this—that people in this House who are working to ensure that democracy is effective and that accountability is working will be treated properly.