Point of Order

– in the House of Commons at 1:26 pm on 20th July 2021.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean 1:26 pm, 20th July 2021

On a point of order, Mr Speaker, of which I have given you notice and also notified the Leader of the House. You will be aware that yesterday a statement about vaccine passports was made at the Dispatch Box by the Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment. There is a relevant part that potentially pertains to the House of Commons. He said:

“By the end of September, everyone aged 18 and over will have had the chance to receive full vaccination and the additional two weeks for that protection to take hold. At that point, we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.”—[Official Report, 19 July 2021; Vol. 699, c. 688.]

It seems to me that when we get back to normal, that definition, particularly on a Wednesday, could equally apply to the House of Commons. It would be outrageous if the Executive were to attempt to prevent any Member of Parliament from attending this House to represent our constituents without first undergoing a medical procedure.

I raise this matter with you, Mr Speaker, because I hope you will be able to make a ruling on it. In closing, I just note that your 17th-century predecessor, Speaker Lenthall, stood up very effectively against an over-mighty Executive and it did not end well for the over-mighty Executive.

Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, House of Commons Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission

It did lead to the end of the monarchy as well, I might add, for a short period, so let us hope we are not quite going back that far.

I am grateful to the right hon. Member for giving me notice of his point of order. I have had no indication that the Government consider that the policy he mentions should apply to this House. What I would say, as Speaker of this House, is that there is nothing to stop a Member coming in here. You have the right to come to this House unless this House otherwise says so. The Government have not been in touch and I do not expect them to be in touch, because as far as I am concerned this does not apply to Members.

I will now suspend the House for three minutes to enable the necessary arrangements to be made for the next business.

Sitting suspended.