PMQs: Lindsay Hoyle cuts off Michael Fabricant
Michael Fabricant hit out at Sir Keir Starmer for requesting an urgent rethink on the easing of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas. Mr Fabricant questioned Boris Johnson as to whether this would happen as he claimed the Labour leader was a “smarmy lawyer.” Speaking in Parliament, Mr Fabricant said: “On the subject of Christmas, my constituents in Lichfield have had a torrid year with the Covid pandemic.
“We’ve got this very small break over Christmas.
“People have got to use common sense of course and not start hugging granny or go wild over Christmas.
“As the Prime Minister previously said, let’s be jolly careful over Christmas.
“But I want to say to my Prime Minister if some smarmy lawyer at this late stage were to argue for a change in the laws.
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“Can I ask my right honourable friend right now who is not either smarmy nor a lawyer, is he going to change the rules?”
Before Mr Fabricant could finish his question, Sir Lindsay had cut him off.
He said: “We’ve got the message.”
Mr Johnson urged people to “exercise extreme caution” as they celebrate Christmas amid fears about the spread of coronavirus.
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The planned relaxation of social distancing rules across the UK is expected to go ahead despite warnings about the possible impact on efforts to control the virus.
Under the festive bubble rules, up to three households will be allowed to mix between December 23 and 27.
Talks involving the UK Government and leaders of the devolved administration are understood to have agreed to continue with the plan, but with a stronger message warning people of the dangers.
At PMQs, Mr Johnson said it was right to “stress the importance of people taking care this Christmas”, particularly due to the risk of asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus.
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He told MPs: “We should exercise extreme caution in the way we celebrate Christmas.
“We can celebrate it sensibly but we have to be extremely cautious in the way we behave.”
Senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove and leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continued talks this morning to agree the approach.
They are understood to be working on a joint statement, indicating that a four-nations approach will continue.
The discussions come after Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said that it would be up to people to make a “personal judgment” whether they wanted to meet up with vulnerable family members over the holiday period.
He suggested that some people may decide to “keep it small” and put off larger gatherings until the spring, saying: “Easter can be the new Christmas.”
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