Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:13 am on 25th 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 11:13 am, 25th June 2020

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this point, and as a former leader of Westminster City Council, she knows how important it is. I am not convinced that extending the congestion charge to 10 o’clock at night will help the theatres when they do reopen. It will be a big disincentive to people coming into the centre of London to go to the theatre—typical of the socialist Mayor of London—but the Government are taking steps to help the artistic community, as we are helping the whole of the economy. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has acknowledged that social distancing makes staging performances exceptionally difficult for theatres and that the industry will need a different approach from other sectors. He is consulting industry, medical experts and advisers in the hope that a solution can be found, but if I may say so, the show must go on and the Government must support the show going on, as they have been with the measures that they have introduced so far.