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Business of the House (Today)

Volume 686: debated on Wednesday 30 December 2020


That, at this day’s sitting

(a) notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No. 16, proceedings on the first of the Motions in the name of a Minister of the Crown relating to 5 Public Health regulations (SI, 2020, Nos. 1518, 1533, 1572, 1611 & 1646) shall be brought to a conclusion not later than three hours after the commencement of proceedings on the first motion and the Speaker shall then put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of each such Motion; and

(b) the Question on the motion in the name of Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg relating to Private Members’ Bills shall be put forthwith;

and such proceedings, though opposed, may be continued or entered upon after the moment of interruption; and Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions) shall not apply.—(Jacob Rees-Mogg.)

Sitting suspended.

On resuming—

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Just a short while ago the Secretary of State for Education told the House that “the overwhelming majority” of primary schools will be open on Monday 4 January, but moments later snuck out a statement in which it is clear that huge numbers of pupils across the country—half a million in London alone—will not be at primary school on Monday. I am sure that it was not his intention to mislead the House, but, inadvertently, I believe that that may have happened. I ask that the Education Secretary return to the House to apologise to parents, teachers and school staff across the country, because his statement has added confusion and chaos to weeks of just that.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. It is not really a matter for the Chair, but Members on the Treasury Bench will have heard his points, and if the Secretary of State wishes to make any further clarification, I am sure that he will do so.