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Select Committees to continue virtually until 17 September

8 June 2020

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House of Commons Select Committees are to continue meeting virtually until 17 September, the Speaker has announced. 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he wanted to give certainty to Members that they could continue their business in the most effective way possible in the current circumstances. 

Select Committees have been holding public meetings via Zoom since a decision of the House on 24 March – the day after the UK went into lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Sir Bernard Jenkin, chair of the influential Liaison Committee, said he wanted remote meetings to continue beyond the current deadline of 30 June “until at least the summer recess”. 

He said his committee – which is made up of the chairs of all the Select Committees – believed continuing to meet virtually would ensure all MPs could participate “on a fair and equal basis during the current pandemic”. 

Sir Lindsay said he was “very sympathetic” to the plan and was keen that Select Committees should be able to continue to provide scrutiny in a way that allows Members, staff and witnesses to participate. 

But he felt it would give the committees even greater certainty if the deadline for meeting virtually was extended until 17 September, when the House is due to rise before the party-political conference recess.