Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:11 am on 11th 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 11:11 am, 11th June 2020

With regard to the final part of the hon. Gentleman’s question, I agree absolutely. I view it as one of the roles of the Leader of the House to take it up with Departments when answers are not felt to be satisfactory by Members, and I will unquestionably take up what he has said with the Treasury. Answers ought to be specific to the question raised by a Member of Parliament. That is one of our rights as a Member of Parliament, and if that is not happening, that is a lacuna in the service the Government are providing, so I assure him that I will take that up.

The hon. Gentleman started by saying that he was not satisfied. I so look forward to the day when an SNP Member stands up and says he is satisfied about anything of any kind whatever. He conjured up this fascinating image of my being dragged kicking and screaming. I have to confess that since my earliest infant years I have not been one of the greatest kickers or screamers in any circumstances. [Interruption.] Valerie Vaz says I am now, but no, no kicking, no screaming; just listening and seeing how things can be done and working out a system that ensures we have a physical Parliament that can get through the Government’s busy legislative programme. We now have three Public Bill Committees up and running, and we will have four. That is very important and it is why we had to come back physically, while recognising that circumstances require some Members to be absent from this House.

Tommy Sheppard sort of made my point for me, because he asked for an overarching debate on the coronavirus. He has clearly forgotten that we had one lasting two days when we had a virtual Parliament. Clearly, what went on in the virtual Parliament was so unsatisfactory that it has passed from people’s memory.