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 Clive Efford Clive Efford Labour, Eltham 12:30 pm, 19th March 2020

The Leader of the House is responsible for protecting the rights of Members of Parliament as well as being part of the Government. Earlier, he mentioned the need to have regular statements here in the House, but I remind him that the Health Secretary came to the House under an urgent question on Monday, the Chancellor came here only after he had made exactly the same statement to the press, and the Education Secretary came with no plan on closing schools six weeks into the crisis. Scrutiny by this House is absolutely crucial. Today, the Cabinet Office is to publish a list of essential workers who will be able to send their children to school. That should be scrutinised by this House. A statement should be made in this House so that we can scrutinise the list. We need more statements from more Departments, not fewer. The Government need to up their act, because it is clear that we have exposed a number of failings in the Government through our scrutiny. It is important that that list is published here, so that we can scrutinise it.