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Financial and Social Emergency Support Package

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:46 pm on 25th 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 5:46 pm, 25th March 2020

Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. If I may respond immediately to the point about what I knew earlier, I will be indiscreet and confess to this House that, after I said that the proposals would be brought forward in 48 hours, when I got back to my office, I was told that they thought I had said rather more than I was briefed to say, because at that stage it was not certain when the proposals would come through. It is being worked on as quickly as possible, but it is not yet ready. My hon. Friend the Economic Secretary is not able to make a statement because the plans have not been completed. What has been announced, and what was announced by the Prime Minister at his press conference, is that the plans will be announced tomorrow and they will be completed in time for tomorrow’s press conference.

As I have been sitting here, my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor has said that he—and this is typical of other Ministers—is always willing to brief his opposite number and to ensure that correspondence is going on so that people are kept informed. Ministers are indeed willing to do teleconferences, to keep Members up to date. It is important that we keep everybody informed and that we work on a cross-party basis. We are keen to do that, but we cannot bring announcements to the House before they are written.