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Social distancing (2020)

Request

  1. How many complaints have been made about MPs failing to socially distance or otherwise breaching rules or guidance while in the House of Commons during the pandemic.
  2. Please provide details of each of those complaints.
  3. Please provide details of what action was taken in response to each of those complaints.

 

Response

  1. How many complaints have been made about MPs failing to socially distance or otherwise breaching rules or guidance while in the House of Commons during the pandemic.
  2. Please provide details of each of those complaints.
  3. Please provide details of what action was taken in response to each of those complaints.

We have interpreted your request as being about complaints, made against MPs where they have failed to socially distance or otherwise breached rules or guidance related to Covid-19, while in the House of Commons.

This information is held by the House of Commons.

At the time of your request, 33 complaints have been made of this nature.

 

The names of some individuals that submitted complaints have been redacted from the table above. This is because either:

  • They were submitted by members of the public or members of staff of MPs, and their names are exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) FOIA. This is because disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s view, would not be consistent with data protection principles in Article 5 of the General Data Protection Regulations. This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.
  • They were submitted by Members of Parliament, and their names are exempt under section 36(2)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The Speaker of the House of Commons has formed the reasonable opinion, under this section of the Act, that disclosure of this correspondence would be likely to prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs. In the case of the House of Commons, section 36 provides an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

Complaints of the nature you have requested may also have been received by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. However, this information, should it be held, is subject to parliamentary privilege, and is therefore exempt from disclosure under section 34(2) FOIA. In order to avoid an infringement of the privileges of the House of Commons, the duty to confirm or deny whether the House of Commons holds such information does not apply to your request. This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

The safety and wellbeing of all those on the Parliamentary Estate is the main priority. The measures in place continue to be reviewed and updated, to ensure that the UK Parliament remains a Covid-19 secure workplace and in line with Public Health England guidance.