Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 30th December 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 5:41 pm, 30th December 2020

On the issue of written ministerial statements, the House ought always to be informed first, but I would point out that what is going on at the moment is changing rapidly in response to the course of the pandemic. Therefore, things often change and statements are made later than would otherwise be hoped for, because of the necessity of keeping up with the new information.

As regards this House and schools, this House does not sit at the same times as schools—we have come back today—and, as I said earlier, the fact that the House is not sitting does not mean that MPs are not working. Members of Parliament ought to be working, but we have to think about the staff of this House. The hon. Gentleman is being unfair on them. The hours that some members of staff have been working are really heroic, and they have done that to make our democracy function. We should be proud of them and praise them; we should not say, as Rehoboam said to Solomon, that having been scourged with whips they should now be scourged with scorpions. I think the whips have been quite enough.