With Boris Johnson urging some to return to work where it is safe to do so, Mr Rees-Mogg announced MPs may soon have to follow suit. His announcement was met with fury from some members of Parliament who highlighted the age of certain MPs. A senior Labour official told Politico: “The Government advice is that those people able to work from home should do so.
“Well, we are doing so. It’s not ideal, but it’s working. There is no rationale for this.”
SNP MP for Central Ayrshire and Shadow Secretary of State Health Philippa Whitford also said: “Crazy! House of Commons chamber only allows 50 MPs at safe distance.
“Virtual’ chamber can add 120. No mention of MPs in shielding or vulnerable groups who will be disenfranchised!
“Just remember the packed chamber on budget day.”
Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife, Wendy Chamberlain also said: “The current advice is that people should work at home if the can – we have proven that MPs can.
“As yet, the government has published no guidance as to how MPs and staff are meant to keep a two metres distance from each other whilst working in parliament.
“Perhaps most worryingly of all, MPs and staff would be further filling up public transport networks and presumably travelling back and forth to communities all over the country.”
Mr Rees-Mogg said in the Commons: “It is clear that soon parliament must set an example of how we move back gradually to a fully-function country again – our constituents would expect nothing less.
However, there is a tailored guidance for those who cannot work remotely.
Under the new guidelines, those who work in supermarkets, construction, manufacturing, research facilities, laboratories, those who administer takeaways or food deliveries, tradesman or those who facilitate trade will be able to return.
However, strict safety and social distancing measures must be maintained where possible.
The measures differ between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Concentrating on England, Mr Johnson stated the Government will take a phased approach to how the country proceeds.
Next month, certain non-essential shops may be able to return as long as the rate of infection has been at a sustained low level.
Published at Wed, 13 May 2020 10:21:00 +0000