Business Secretary Alok Sharma repeatedly wiped his head and nose with a handkerchief and held his forehead during a speech on Wednesday, questioning whether the UK government needed MPs to return to parliament at a time when the number of new coronavirus infections was high. .
The House of Commons has been working on a hybrid basis in recent weeks, with a limited number of MPs allowed in the chamber and others allowed to participate and vote from home.
But the move, led by House of Commons leader and traditional conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mug, led the government to use its parliamentary majority earlier this week.
MPs were forced to return to Westminster if they wanted to debate and vote on the law. House of Commons authorities, however, insisted that social distance rules should be maintained, meaning that lawmakers had to join a huge line to vote in the traditional way of crossing booths because Taylors kept their names.
A May 30 report from the House of Commons Process Committee warned of the government’s decision to rehabilitate the House of Commons in Westminster over the socially marginalized system as a “significant shortcoming.” The committee’s report said it “has serious concerns about how this will go in practice” and suggested that “remote voting should continue for a specified period of time, with members who want to be able to vote in person as their vote is recorded in the chamber.” . “
After the first meeting after the virtual system was scrapped on Tuesday, he tweeted: “Today has shown that a proper parliament is more effective than an imitation that the government opposes.” But Sharma’s worrying situation on Wednesday may cast doubt on the wisdom of forcing legislators into a confined space.
Downing Street says Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be forced to resign if Sharma tests positive. An official spokesman for the prime minister said Johnson and Finance Minister Ishii Sunak had a 45-minute meeting with Sharma on the economy on Tuesday. The spokesman said that the rules of social distance were maintained.
If the other members of parliament who continue to communicate with the minister also test positive, he may be forced to step aside for two weeks.
A spokesman for Sharma’s business, energy and industrial strategy department told CNN on Wednesday: “Secretary of State Alok Sharma began to feel sick when the second reader of the Corporate Governance and Insolvency Bill came to the chamber. – Isolated and returned home.
At the time of publication on Thursday, Sharma had not yet received his test results, department sources said.
Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper said on Twitter that “Rees-Mogg should resign as House Leader to bring [it] Dissatisfied and unnecessarily risking his life “he called on Speaker Lindsay Whale to return to virtual activity in Parliament with only immediate effect.
Labor MP John McDonnell said on Twitter: “I wish Alok Sharma a speedy recovery but it confirms that the lives of both workers and MPs in Parliament are at stake. Reese Witherspoon and Johnson decided to force this unelected decision to open Parliament.” Now must go back to lockdown and online operation. “
This story has been updated to correct the release date of the House of Commons Process Committee report.