Committee to step up review of Commons COVID procedures with new sessions
20 Jan 2021 11:27 AM
The Procedure Committee will hear from witnesses including the Clerk of the House of Commons and the Leader of the House, as it continues its detailed review and inquiry into procedure under coronavirus restrictions.
Purpose of the session
The Committee’s next evidence session, scheduled to take place from 14:30 on Wednesday 27 January, will be an opportunity for witnesses to give evidence to the Committee on how the pandemic has impacted how MPs participate in the House of Commons.
During the session, the Committee will hear from:
- Dr John Benger, Clerk of the House of Commons
- Matthew Hamlyn, Strategic Director, Chamber Business Team
This evidence session comes following the publication of written evidence from the Clerk of the House relating to the future of virtual participation after the pandemic in response to a letter from the Chair of the Committee, Rt. Hon. Karen Bradley MP on 18 December.
On Monday 1 February, the Committee will question Rt. Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, on changes to House of Commons procedures since the start of the pandemic. The MPs will also question the Leader on the Committee’s new inquiry into House of Commons procedures and the territorial constitution. The session is scheduled to take place from 16:00.
Chair of the Procedure Committee, Rt. Hon. Karen Bradley MP yesterday said:
“We look forward to hearing contributions from the Clerk of the House of Commons and the Strategic Director of the Chamber Business Team. House staff have worked rapidly and tirelessly to respond to changing circumstances, which enabled continued sittings in the House during a global pandemic.
“The Committee has consistently expressed the view that any changes to procedure during coronavirus have been agreed to on the basis of their being temporary and I thank the Clerk of the House for his written evidence in response to my letter to Mr Speaker on this issue, which we will discuss in depth during the evidence session.
“We are also grateful to the Leader of the House for agreeing to give evidence to us on a range of issues, including remote participation. The Committee looks forward to getting clarity from him on the Government’s future plans for the conduct of Commons business in this and future phases of the pandemic.
“My Committee will continue to monitor House procedure and practice under coronavirus conditions as those conditions develop, taking further evidence as appropriate and reporting to the House where necessary.”