Commons leader: there is much for Parliament to be proud of this year
House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has commended his fellow MPs and civil servants for the work they have managed to do in trying circumstances in the year to date.
Writing in The Times' Red Box section, Mr Rees-Mogg admitted that 2020 'is not quite going as planned' but insisted there is 'much that parliament can be proud of this year.'
He pointed to the passing of The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act in January as well as the fisheries bill, the trade bill and the agriculture bill, which are 'working their way through both Houses, ready to come into force once the transition period ends.'
He said that so far twenty-five bills have begun their passage through parliament in 2020 with a further eight already passing into law.
As we reach the midway point of 2020, it is clear that this is considerably down on the average number which, according to Project Britain, is 100 new laws per year. But it is obvious why this would be the case.
'Since Whitsun' (or 31st May to you and me), Mr Ross-Mogg said, 'the Commons has once again been working at full speed.'
'Not enough is said about the contributions made by MPs of all parties to this process. Four public bill committees are up and running and bills are being properly debated in a way that is simply impossible on Zoom.
'Regardless of their political leanings, all MPs play a part in our system of parliamentary democracy, which allows the results of general elections to be translated into a programme of bills. That is exactly what is happening, and many MPs, whose constituents will be affected, are working hard to make the bills as good as they can be.'
He concluded his article by turning his thoughts to Jo Cox, who was assassinated four years ago this week.
'Her #MoreInCommon campaign continues to resonate with parliamentarians of all parties. We all oppose the thuggery of racism and tyranny in all forms. We have worked hard to support the government-led effort in tackling the coronavirus. We all want the best possible outcomes for our country, even if we sometimes have different views about how to achieve them.
'Whenever I look up from the dispatch box at Jo Cox’s crest on the walls of the chamber — and indeed the crests of all parliamentarians who have lost their lives — I am reminded of how united we are in the face of adversity. Throughout our country’s history parliament has played its part during troubled times. This year is no exception.'