Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:38 am on 15th October 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 10:38 am, 15th October 2020

The hon. Gentleman is disappointed with me, and that is a yoke I shall have to bear. It is, I fear, his default position to be disappointed with me, and I am afraid that in my answers today, his disappointment will only grow. I am sorry about that; none the less, I must proceed.

The House made a decision to be back in physical form and voted to return to physical voting—a system that is working effectively and ensures that our business can be done. It is essential for debates that we are here. The whole point of a debate is to challenge, to question, to intervene. That is not possible remotely. For Ministers, when we had that brief period of legislation going through remotely, it could not have been easier: all the Minister had to do was read out the prepared blurb. Nothing could be intervened upon; nothing could be questioned. [Interruption.] When we are here, as I am heckled by the Labour Chief Whip, interventions can come from a sedentary position, which may get the pith and moment of the debate, as Mr Brown is so good at doing. That leads to proper, informed debate. [Interruption.] Even Mr Speaker is intervening now.