Commons Speaker Speeding up the Reopening of the House

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the Commons, hopes to speed up the reopening of the House so that Parliament may return to normal sooner than was previously anticipated. Guido Fawkes has the story.

A new message sent to MPs says he will now encourage the Commons Commission on Monday to implement “all changes possible” under the current Government guidance, due to the reduction in the Covid alert levelPreviously he was dragging his feet…

The changes he wants [include]:

~ The Chamber: Subject to final public health advice the chamber should consider moving from 2m social distancing to 1m+

~ Catering: Introduction of the rule of six – up from the current situation of tables with just one chair

~ Terrace Pavilion to open indoor and outdoor

~ Smoking room to be opened…

~ Non-pass holders: It is hoped the Commission will be able to support a limited return of access for non-pass holders for a greater variety of business reasons

Sir Lindsay has also requested that overseas committee visits resume.

Worth reading in full.

This comes as pressure from Tory backbenchers grows for Parliament to return to normal. Some MPs believe this could encourage companies across the country to speed up their reopenings. The Express has the story.

Peter Bone (Conservative, Wellingborough) told MPs: “I am afraid Parliament isn’t working. It is not holding properly the Government to account and it strikes me that Parliament should lead.

“So, could we have a statement from [Jacob Rees-Mogg] the Leader of the House telling us that Parliament – and particularly the House of Commons – is going to be restored to normal process and that we will end virtual proceedings?

“We won’t have hundreds of votes in the Deputy Chief Whip’s pocket and we’ll have proper voting and we’ll end social distancing in the chamber.

“We really need to lead and get Parliament back doing its job properly.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg says that he “hopes” the House will be back to normal from June 21st.

The Express report is also worth reading in full.