Rees-Mogg won't wear mask in Chamber, amid anger over new MP guidance
Jacob Rees-Mogg says he will not wear masks at Parliament because it is pointless and people who are double-jabbed have already ‘done their bit’ – amid anger that Commons staff are being force to cover up but MPs only ‘encouraged’
- The leader of the House of Commons will no longer wear a mask after July 19
- A leaked letter to MPs says masks won’t be required in the Chamber from then
- Masks will still be ‘required’ for Parliament staff until July 22 when recess begins
- One Labour MP blasted the ‘hypocrisy’ of the ‘double standard’ on Twitter
Jacob Rees-Mogg will not be wearing a face covering at Parliament when the requirement is lifted (pictured July 12)
Jacob Rees-Mogg will not be wearing a face covering at Parliament when the requirement is lifted, the Conservative MP said, stating that people who have received both jabs of the vaccine have already done their ‘societal bit.’
‘This morning I wandered around the palace of Westminster wearing a mask, and met almost nobody. In those circumstances I will not be wearing a mask – what would be the point?’ the leader of the House of Commons said on the Conservative Home podcast.
‘If you’ve had both vaccines, your risk of transmitting the disease is slight. So in a way you’ve done your societal bit by having the vaccine, as much as by wearing a mask, which is why I think it’s sensibly individual choice.’
A leaked letter sent by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle states that MPs will only be encouraged – rather than required – to wear masks in in the Chamber from July 19.
Parliamentary staff are still ‘required’ to do so until summer recess begins.
In a section titled ‘Outside the Chamber,’ it states that MPs will be encouraged to wear face coverings just until July 22.
Mr Rees-Mogg said that fully-vaccinated people have already done their ‘societal bit’ and should have the ‘individual decision’ as to whether to wear a mask (pictured June 16)
‘It will also mean that until the rise of the House the overall capacity of the estate will remain limited,’ the letter reads.
And while the memo states that staff members currently working remote ‘will be encouraged to continue doing so until September,’ MPs will be allowed to ‘make their own assessment’ on how many people return after the summer break.
Currently there is a maximum of two staff members MPs are allowed to have in-person.
The new guidance comes a day after Boris Johnson announced that people in England will no longer be legally required to wear a face covering on public transport or in shops, restaurants and other indoor spaces from July 19.
Social distancing measures and legal limits on gatherings will also be lifted.
The new guidance for MPs comes a day after Boris Johnson announced that people in England will no longer be legally required to wear a face covering on public transport or in shops, restaurants and other indoor spaces from July 19
Labour MP Jon Trickett blasted the ‘hypocrisy’ handed down to MPs and their staff on Twitter.
Naming Mr Johnson as having made the announcement, Mr Trickett said the new guidelines are ‘Elitist, dangerous double standards from an Etonian who thinks he is a class above.’
However, directives for MPs and Whitehall employees actually come from the Commons Speaker and House authorities.
Labour MP Jon Trickett blasted the ‘hypocrisy’ handed down to MPs and their staff on Twitter, though he incorrectly fingered Mr Johnson as having made the decision himself
The easing of England’s restrictions has been criticised by a number of health experts, including the World Health Organization
‘The inner socialist is coming out in the Labour Party… they believe in collective control,’ Mr Rees-Mogg quipped when asked about critics of the rollback.
The easing of England’s restrictions has been criticised by a number of health experts, including the World Health Organization.
But Mr Rees-Mogg believes ‘millions of individual decisions’ made by the public are a safer bet than government-mandated health guidance, despite objections from Labour Party members – and has not totally ruled out wearing a mask himself.
‘I may find there are circumstances where I feel it would be good manners to wear a mask,’ the Conservative leader said. ‘Am I going to wear one with any enthusiasm? No, I never have worn one with enthusiasm, but I see there are circumstances where it might be advisable.’
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