Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady sent an email to all Tory MPs on Friday explaining the measures. The cancellations come as Boris Johnson is under pressure to completely shut down Parliament. ITV News’ Paul Brand tweeted: “BREAKING: Sir Graham Brady has emailed all Conservative MPs saying ‘The House of Commons has cancelled all events and therefore the 1922 Reception will be cancelled on Monday’.
“It is not clear yet what cancelling “all events” means. Is Parliament going into reduced service?”
Mr Brand added: “Parliament is under increasing pressure to close, with a growing number of MPs in self-isolation.
“But as one Conservative MP tells me, “you can’t close down parliament and not other public institutions – schools etc.” Would look inconsistent.”
Twitter users were quick to point out the irony between the actions of politicians and the government’s official advice.
At a press conference on Thursday, Boris Johnson did not call off public events to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
One person said: “The House of Commons are cancelling events but the government says there’s no need to cancel events?”
Another person tweeted: “Government: we don’t advise cancelling events.
“Also government: we’re cancelling events which might put *us* at risk.”
On Friday Parliament announced measure to “limits” visitor access.
No new banqueting bookings will be accepted and existing bookings from Monday onwards will be cancelled.
No mass lobbies will be allowed.
These gathering usually take place in Westminster Hall or in a larger committee room.
Earlier this week, health minister Nadine Dorries became the first MP to test positive for coronavirus.
She remains in self-isolation.
Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen also developed a cough and went into self quarantine.
He criticised the government’s handling of the crisis, saying Parliament should have been closed to visitors.
He sat next to Ms Dorries at a lunch last Thursday and said she contacted him after falling ill.
Mr Bridgen said: “Nadine emailed me and I’ve called 111 and a doctor is going to come out and test us.
“He’ll test me, my mother-in-law, who is 76, and my son Blake, who is 18 months.
“I’ve moved my son Blake’s cot out of my room to my mother-in-law’s while I’m coughing.”
More to follow…
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