Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 19th 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 12:30 pm, 19th March 2020

Perhaps it is helpful to explain how we came to agreement on Westminster Hall being suspended, to give an example of how we are intending to work. There was a letter from the Clerk of the House to Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker consulted me. I consulted Valerie Vaz and representatives of the Scottish National party. We consulted the Chairmen of the most relevant Select Committees, and then we came forward with a motion. It is very important that what we do for Select Committees similarly has cross-party support and consensus across this House. I think that if the Leader of the House, representing the Government, were to come forward with proposals for how Select Committees should operate, people might think that that was designed not to enhance but to reduce scrutiny. It is of the utmost importance that this is done with consensus, and therefore it will take a little time—a few days—to discuss these matters, but proposals will be brought forward.