Boris Johnson: People of this country want MPs back at work

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Boris Johnson has defended the controversial move to bring MPs back to the House of Commons after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer criticised it as “shameful”.

Parliamentarians yesterday backed plans to end the virtual sessions that have been taking place throughout the coronavirus crisis. It means they now have to form long socially-distanced queues in order to vote.

Sir Keir said it excluded MPs who are shielding and condemned it as “completely unnecessary and unacceptable.”

“If any other employer behaved like this it would be a clear and obvious case of indirect discrimination under the Equalities Act,” he said.

But the Prime Minister told his opposition rival to “consider what is really going on throughout the country”.

“Ordinary people are getting used to queuing for long periods of time to do their shopping.

“I do not think it unreasonable that we should ask parliamentarians to come back to this place and do their job for the people of this country,” he told the Chamber.

Mr Johnson added that the government would make a change today to allow shielding MPs to vote by proxy.

He concluded: “I do think the people of this country, on the whole, will want their parliamentarians to be back at work, doing their job, passing legislation on behalf of the people of this country.”

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