House Business during the Pandemic

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:10 pm on 8th June 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 6:10 pm, 8th June 2020

I am not unsympathetic to the concerns that the hon. Lady expresses. That is why the House authorities have set the House out as it is—to maintain social distancing to minimise the risk. I am sure that she paid attention to the report in The Lancet last week that showed that if we maintain the social distancing distance, which initially the Government quoted as 6 feet but is now correct at 6.5 feet, the risk of transmission—of being infected by somebody who is already infectious —halves, in comparison with half that distance, to a 1.3% chance of infection from somebody who is already infected. That is the importance of following these public health guidelines, onerous as they may be.

I would also say to the hon. Lady that we as Members of Parliament have our burden to bear in this process along with our constituents. Many of our constituents are doing things that put them at greater risk than we are at, and have carried on doing them throughout. We are classified as key workers. Why? Because democracy is important and our physical presence here is important to make democracy work.