Jacob Rees-Mogg wants screens ‘like they have in supermarkets’ in parliament so more people can cheer on Boris Johnson
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Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested that supermarket screens should be installed in Parliament.

Rees-Mogg has suggested that the screens which divide people at the supermarket check out counters – made of plexiglass – should be put between MPs in order to get them back into parliament.

The Tory grandee wants to get more MPs back into parliament so that they can physically be present behind Boris Johnson at PMQs (and somehow still observe social distancing).

His suggestion also included putting screens between MPs – like they were self checkout tills at Tesco – and then adding a lid on top. Which would be strange to say the least.

However, this would also require an oxygen supply, or MPs could inevitably suffocate in their plexiglass chambers...

The Times has reported that Rees-Mogg made these comments at a meeting of the House of Commons Commission this week.

There would also be other issues too: such as whether MPs would have to shout to be heard from their plexiglass boxes, and also whether this would even be more efficient than the virtual parliament system that is currently in place.

Parliament will be adjourning for a two week recess after this week. Despite concerns about social distancing and health, Rees-Mogg has clarified that MPs should return to Parliament physically by 2 June.

Under the hybrid proceedings, the time this House is able to spend debating legislation faces being cut by around two thirds.

We have to recognise that if we persist with the present arrangement it will become harder to make progress in a timely fashion.

He’s also been criticised by other members of the Conservative party for insisting that members of Parliament should literally go back to work. Robert Halfon, a senior Conservative minister, said: ““MPs who are disrupted by this awful pandemic are not just old horses to be sent to the knackers yard.”

This isn’t the first time that Rees-Mogg has faced criticism for his conduct around parliament. He was the subject of many memes after footage from Parliament emerged with him almost lying down in September.

According to the Times, some members of the Conservatives believe that Johnson has not been doing well at PMQs because the benches behind him have been close to empty.

Apparently, having more people behind him even with the plexiglass screens wouldn’t be a distraction but would bolster his confidence.

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