Parliament could be suspended for five months as part of government’s coronavirus plan
PUBLISHED: 10:48 05 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:20 05 March 2020
Parliament could be suspended until the end of September as part of proposals for tackling the coronavirus.
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The Times reports that as part of plans for parliament, the House of Commons and Lords could be stopped from returning to the chambers after the Easter recess.
It would mean MPs rising on March 31st and not returning until the end of September in the "longest summer recess we have known", a parliamentary source told the newspaper.
Parliament bosses also want to limit the number of people who can enter the estate before a shutdown, claiming that politicians are essentially "super-spreaders".
"We've got 650 people who spend half the week spread across the country meeting their constituents and the other half rubbing up against one another in Westminster," a source claimed. "It's 650 super-spreaders."
Jacob Rees-Mogg has said there are no plans to close the Houses of Parliament.
The Commons leader told MPs: "There are no plans to close the House down."
He said: "The public will expect parliament to sit and get on with its job. Parliament has proven itself to be very resilient over the years.
"There is no medical reason on current advice to think that shutting parliament would be necessary or helpful."
Rees-Mogg added: "Our approach will be guided by the best scientific evidence and medical advice and we'll take all necessary measure to deal with this outbreak.
"I can assure the house I'm engaging with the parliamentary authorities to emphasise how important it is that any decisions are taken in line with the advice of the chief medical officer, and a cross-parliamentary group of senior managers is meeting daily to plan the response to Covid-19 and ensure business continuity with input from Her Majesty's government."
Last year an attempt to suspend parliament in September to help force through a no-deal Brexit was deemed "unlawful" by Supreme Court judges.
Jacob Rees-Mogg was accused of misleading the Queen for the reasons he gave for asking for the prorogation.
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