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‘It’s on you when MPs start dying’: Jacob Rees-Mogg roasted for forcing UK lawmakers back to Parliament amid Covid-19 crisis

‘It’s on you when MPs start dying’: Jacob Rees-Mogg roasted for forcing UK lawmakers back to Parliament amid Covid-19 crisis
UK House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has come under fire after insisting the now-defunct virtual Parliament was “no longer necessary.” Now the MPs may have to form endless ‘social distancing’ queues to cast their votes.

“Westminster has been the seat of our democracy for centuries. It will take more than the coronavirus to change that,” said Rees-Mogg, writing for the PoliticsHome website on Monday. Insisting that “If Parliament is to deliver on the people’s priorities, it must sit physically,” he argued that the “virtual Parliament” that has seen the majority of MPs take part in House of Commons debates from home via Zoom had served its purpose during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the MPs present in Westminster, rather than scattered hither and thither, voters’ interests will be better represented.

It appears to go against the UK government’s official guidance that states people should work from home, where possible, which has angered MPs across the political spectrum.

As part of the full reopening of the Houses of Parliament, returning politicians will be expected to queue for around one kilometer to cast their ballots in division lobbies to allow for social distancing, the prospect of which has been branded “deranged” by Labour Party MP Peter Dowd.

Rees-Mogg’s plans have also provoked anger and ridicule online from the British public. Many people accused the Tory MP of putting the lives of lawmakers and their staff at risk, with one commentator insisting that “Parliament has the technology to work remotely and should be setting an example.”

Another Rees-Mogg critic tweeted, somewhat brutally, that “It’s on you when MPs & staff start dying.” Others online suggested that the move to bring back MPs to occupy seats in the House of Commons was to help out Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been left “exposed and vulnerable” when going head-to-head with Labour leader Keir Starmer during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions sessions.

Meanwhile, gifs were also posted mocking Rees-Mogg’s assertion that Parliament must “sit physically” to deliver on “the people’s priorities.”

The move comes after Johnson eased some of the lockdown rules, allowing unlimited outdoor exercise and al fresco gatherings of six people, even though the numbers of cases across the UK has reached almost 275,000, with 38,489 deaths recorded across the country.

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