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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

Select Committees need to think carefully about how they approach their business before any specific arrangements are made. Public evidence sessions are the greatest strain on House resources because of the requirement for Hansard reporters, for broadcasting and so on. I ask the Chairmen of Select Committees to be considerate in their planning for public sessions. Private sessions require much less in terms of House resources.

On assistance from the military, I understand a written ministerial statement will be tabled today by the Ministry of Defence. I agree with my right hon. Friend that the service provided to us by our armed forces, in all circumstances, is truly remarkable and inspirational.

I am glad my right hon. Friend has raised some of the wilder stories that were circulating yesterday, and I encourage all hon. and right hon. Members to listen to official sources of information. Some of the things going around yesterday seem to have been said merely to make the flesh crawl. It is much better to listen to the press conferences of the chief medical officer and the chief scientific adviser for their calm responses to what is actually happening.