Jacob Rees-Mogg accused of reducing parliamentary scrutiny with ‘generous’ recess

PUBLISHED: 12:57 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:57 09 January 2020

Jacob Rees-Mogg during the emergency debate in the House of Commons. Photograph: Anna Turley/Twitter.

Jacob Rees-Mogg during the emergency debate in the House of Commons. Photograph: Anna Turley/Twitter.

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The leader of the house has released the parliamentary recess calendar to MPs - who of whom has noted there is “generous” time away from the House of Commons before the summer.

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According to a schedule tweeted by MP Gavin Newlands, Jacob Rees-Mogg announced a constituency recess, an Easter break, the early May bank holiday, and Whitsun recess, totalling 49 days away from the Commons for MPs before the summer break on 21 July.

Newlands, who is SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire, commented "Jeezo they are being 'generous'," in his tweet with the picture.

"One would think they're trying to avoid scrutiny or something," he added.

Green MP Caroline Lucas also criticised fellow MPs on avoiding scrutiny, for voting down an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill that would have offered them a vote on the final Brexit trade deal with the EU.

MORE: Caroline Lucas slams MPs voting down their own say over Brexit negotiations
The recess dates tweeted by Newlands show a marked increase in time away from parliament compared to previous years.

The 49 days of recess that Rees-Mogg has announced prior to the summer break are relatively lengthy compared to 2019, when there was no constituency recess and there were just 29 days away from parliament before the summer kicked in.

In 2018, despite a nearly two week break in February plus the standard spring recesses, the recess amounted to 46 days before the summer break.

Parliament was prorogued in April 2017 for general election campaigning, making it harder to compare.

All date periods include weekends and do not include any days in January carrying over from the Christmas break.

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