House of Commons to operate under three-day working week

Published by Scott Challinor on April 20th 2020, 8:08am

Under new plans, the House of Commons will only sit from Monday to Wednesday, with any business relating to the Covid-19 outbreak given priority in the chamber.

Any non-essential business unrelated to the pandemic will be pushed back. There will also be no Commons proceedings at all during Thursdays and Fridays.

The new plans will be implemented from next week onward, with Parliament sitting on Tuesday and Wednesday only for this week.

Legislation that was due to be debated this week has been postponed, to allow for a new timetable to be put in place for departmental question times and ministerial statements to take place, as well as updates on work carried out by the select committees.

A new video conference system with visible screens will be put in place in the Commons, which will allow MPs to dial-in to hear statements from ministers and scrutinise them.

The plan, put forward by Speaker of the Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle, will enable social distancing in the Palace of Westminster to be practised more effectively. No more than 50 MPs will be required to attend the Commons in person at any given time, while the video conference function will have the capacity to allow another 120 MPs to dial-in at once.

Prime Minister’s Questions is expected to take place this Wednesday, which will be Sir Keir Starmer's first as the new Labour leader. However, foreign secretary Dominic Raab may deputise for prime minister Boris Johnson as he continues his recovery from coronavirus.

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
April 20th 2020, 8:08am

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