Letter from the Speaker to the Clerk of the House John Benger
I have written to the Leader of the House today asking him to consider a range of suggestions to enable the scrutiny of Government during recesses and facilitate remote contributions to parliamentary proceedings when the House returns if this unprecedented crisis continues.
I have made the point that it would be extremely helpful in the planning of the running of the House if the Leader could give both of us an indication as early as feasibly possible on whether or not the House will return on 21 April or whether the recess will be extended. I am aware of your concerns that it may be very difficult to support some key functions given the growing scale of staff absence whether through social isolation or illness. Knowledge of this timeframe will greatly assist the House Service in workforce planning and the delivery of any technical solutions which are deemed appropriate.
Please can you provide me with an update on progress and the timeline to connect MPs and Parliament together with different technology and ask the Parliamentary Digital Service and Broadcasting Team to prioritise the application of such technology to the proceedings of the House.
Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle
Speaker of the House of Commons