Exclusive: Masks Will Be Optional For MPs But *Compulsory* For Parliament Staff From July 19
.@ProspectUnion chief Garry Graham: "It is frankly ridiculous that staff will be required to wear masks around the estate but the very MPs and government ministers who set the rules will not.”
A spokesperson for Speaker Hoyle told HuffPost UK: “We have no employment or contractual relationship with Members which would enable us to mandate the wearing of masks. We therefore encourage Members to support us in keeping the Estate safe.”
Latest. @FDAGenSec warns that "MPs who ignore the Speaker’s advice to wear face coverings are willingly putting parliamentary staff at risk and will be named and shamed by the FDA union".
"Such action needs to be called out and, as such, we will write to those MPs making clear that their actions are undermining the health of the dedicated public servants who support them and making public the names of those MPs who undertake this reckless action.”

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More from @paulwaugh

13 Jul
BREAKING Govt wins overseas aid cut vote by 333 votes to 298. Big Tory rebellion
Criticism has been swift from aid charities. Church of England's Bishop of Worcester now wades in: "The criteria which the govt has now set out for a return to 0.7% are so stringent that it risks making permanent rather than temporary the reduction in our overseas development"
Read 9 tweets
13 Jul
NEW: No.10 defends Priti Patel after Tyrone Mings ( @OfficialTM_3 ) criticism. “The Home Secretary has been clear there is no place for racism in our country and that's why she is backing the police to hold those responsible accountable [for racist abuse]..."
PM's official spokesperson said: "The Home Secretary is working every day to clamp down on hate crime, racism and violence..."
PM opened today's cabinet meeting with a condemnation of the racist abuse aimed at some of the England team.
Spokesperson: "He said the abuse was utterly disgraceful and had emerged from the dark spaces of the internet...
Read 6 tweets
12 Jul
No.10 "totally rejects" claim by @GNev2 after Euro2020 that @BorisJohnson has himself “promoted” racist abuse with language like Muslim women looking like letterboxes.

“I totally reject that claim," PM's official spokesperson says.
"The prime minister set out this morning his response to some of the awful comments we've seen. He said this England team deserve to be lauded as heroes not racially abused on social media, those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves,”
On Neville claim that PM + other ministers suggested it was fine to boo players taking the knee, he added: “It’s not accurate.

“The PM was clear that he wanted to see everyone getting behind the team to cheer them on. He made that clear on the 11th, before England’s first game.”
Read 7 tweets
5 Jul
.@BorisJohnson suggesting mask wearing depends on different types of train, depending on crowds.
Says there is "a difference between traveling on an overcrowded [commuter] train and sitting late at night in a virtually empty carriage on the main line"
Clear that Chris Whitty thinks mask wearing STILL needed "particularly at this point when the epidemic is clearly significant and rising" + when made others uncomfortable..
Tension with PM on this one is obvious

That Whitty quote in full: “I would wear a mask under three situations, and I would do so, particularly at this point when the epidemic is clearly significant and rising.
Read 8 tweets
30 Jun
Here's the case that @Keir_Starmer was raising in #PMQs.
Johnson shrugs it off by referring to the vaccine rollout, claiming Hancock was a 'Westminster bubble' issue. Tone deaf alert.

.@Keir_Starmer quick to pick up on the 'bubble' line. Johnson fails to withdraw the line.

PM says: "Of course he’s right about the sacrifice [of families like Ollie's]...the best response to their grief and their pain..is to get on with a new health secretary..."
Last week, Johnson appeared to dismiss concerns about rape victims as 'jabber'.
This week, he appeared to dismiss concerns about funeral restrictions on Covid families as 'the Westminster bubble'
Simple tone-check stuff, which he could avoid if he mixed the pace of his answers.
Read 6 tweets
29 Jun
Speaker Hoyle letting rip at Govt for failing to send cabinet ministers to Commons to answer Qs on transparency.
“I'm sorry the minister Gove wasn't here to take some of the questions because most of them are named for him...
"This House won't be taken for granted when statements are made outside here [ie by No.10 or in press conferences], continue to be made, that's why I'm going to continue to grant UQs...
"So let's get used to it. The government doesn't want to come here, I'm going to make sure it is heard here..."
Read 5 tweets

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