Speaker rejects Covid passports for MPs despite crowded Commons

MPs should not have to produce Covid vaccine passports to attend the House of Commons, the Speaker has said, insisting Parliament will set its own rules. 

Sir Linday Hoyle warned ministers against interfering after Boris Johnson said proof of two jags would be needed for entry to night clubs and “other venues where large crowds gather” by the end of September, rather than just a recent negative test.

The Prime Minister also said that he couldn’t rule out pubs being covered too.

But Sir Lindsay said he didn’t expect the policy to apply to the Commons, despite more than half the 650 MPs routinely packed the chamber for PMQs before the pandemic.

Recent social distancing rules in the chamber ended this week. 

Former Tory chief whip Mark Harper, who chairs the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, raised a point of order about busy sessions in the chamber being regulated.

He said: “It seems to me, particularly on a Wednesday when we get back to normal, that definition could equally apply to this House of Commons.

“It’d be outrageous if the executive were to attempt to prevent any Member of Parliament attending this House to represent our constituents without first undergoing a medical procedure.”

He added: “Your 17th century predecessor, Speaker Lenthall, stood up very effectively against an overmighty executive and it didn’t end well for the overmighty executive.”

Sir Lindsay replied: “It did lead to the end of the monarchy as well, I might add, for a short period so let’s hope we’re not quite going back that far.”

He added: “I have had no indication that the Government considers the policy he’s mentioned should apply to this House.

“There is nothing to stop a member coming in to here, you have the right to come to this House unless this House otherwise says so.

“The Government’s not been in touch, I don’t expect them to be in touch because, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t apply to members.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992