Lindsay Hoyle could 'refuse' Sunak's budget statement says Kentish
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New guidance released by the House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, 64, reveals Parliament has reinstated mandatory face coverings. The Speaker, who replaced John Bercow in 2019, said compulsory masks would help “ensure that those on the estate are safe while business is facilitated”.
However, the Commons authorities cannot impose these rules on elected Members of Parliament even though it will become a legal requirement for all other staff, contractors, visitors and the press.
A Commons spokesman said: “The House’s priority is to ensure that those on the estate are safe while business is facilitated.
“Due to recent increases in COVID-19 across the country, which are also being reflected in Parliament, we have updated our COVID-19 guidance for those working on the estate.
“Face coverings are now mandatory for all staff, contractors and third parties while on the estate, unless there is a legitimate exemption in place.”
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Many people have accused MPs of making one rule for them and another rule for everyone else.
The lockdown-sceptic TalkRadio presenter, Julia Hartley-Brewer, wrote on Twitter: “One rule for us, another rule for them.
“Amazing that Covid knows it can only infect people without MP after their name, isn’t it?
“Such a clever little virus.”
The news also comes just days after the Commons became embroiled in an argument about mask-wearing.
Leader of the House, Jacob Rees Mogg, challenged Labour on wearing face masks in the Commons chamber but not at their party conference in Brighton.
But Mr Rees-Mogg also tried to justify the move taken by Tory MPs not to wear masks by saying the party’s “convivial, fraternal spirit” meant they didn’t need to wear them.
After many Tory MPs went maskless last week, Alex Chalk, the MP for Cheltenham, was forced to self-isolate as he has since contracted COVID-19.
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Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, has said he will wear a face mask during Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget later today.
Mr Javid, who replaced Matt Hancock at the Department for Health and Social Care in June, even suggested MPs should set an example by wearing masks in enclosed spaces.
“We also have a role to play to set an example as private individuals as well,” he said.
The Liberal Democrat MP, Layla Moran, described the decision taken by many Tory MPs to go maskless as “irresponsible.”
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