By Arj Singh
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Parliament will return on April 21, the government confirmed after opposition parties demanded a recall so MPs can hold ministers to account over coronavirus.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg’s team said technological solutions were being prepared to ensure MPs can scrutinise the government as it responds to the pandemic.
It raises the prospect of Boris Johnson taking part in virtual prime minister’s questions sessions, if he has recovered from his own battle for the virus.
Select committee sessions have been taking place using videoconferencing technology since the prime minister ordered a lockdown to try and suppress the spread of the virus.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had written to Rees-Mogg calling for the recall of parliament, arguing that the government’s decisions needed to be challenged so mistakes could be rectified and lives saved as a result.
Responding, a spokesperson for Rees-Mogg said: “Parliament will return on April 21 to fulfil its essential constitutional functions of conducting scrutiny, authorising spending and making laws.
“In these unprecedented times, technological solutions have already been implemented for select committees and options are being prepared for the Speaker, the government and other parties to consider next week.
“It is important that we have a comprehensive solution that does not inadvertently exclude any members.
“The leader of the House of Commons will respond to the leader of the opposition’s letter in the usual way.”