Week in Westminster, 20-24 April 2020

Parliament returned from Easter recess this week in physical and virtual forms, with much of procedure moving online in response to the social distancing requirements caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  Both Houses also sat for a reduced period, of three days in the week.

The Bishop of Newcastle began the first virtual meeting of the House of Lords with prayers, and asked questions of Ministers on provision of protective equipment in sheltered housing and hospices, and on regional successes in the north-east to produce PPE for local NHS use.

The Bishop of Gloucester also spoke in a Lords debate held online about prisons and coronavirus.

During the Easter recess written answers had been published to questions from the Bishop of London on Covid-19 health support to those in immigration removal centres, the Bishop of Durham on the immigration health surcharge, and visa requirements for religious workers, and the Bishop of St Albans on domestic food production and reviewing the 2005 Gambling Act.

Tuesday 21st April

The Bishop of Newcastle led prayers in the first virtual sitting of House of Lords.


Wednesday 22nd April

The Bishop of Newcastle asked Government about safety of staff running care homes, sheltered accommodation and hospices.

Thursday 23rd April

The Bishop of Gloucester spoke in a debate about Covid-19 and prisons, highlighting the impact on female offenders and children.

The Bishop of Newcastle praised local efforts to produce PPE and asked Government about devolved production powers.

During Recess

Monday 30th March

The Bishop of Durham received a written answer to a question on visa requirements for religious workers under the new points-based immigration system.

Wednesday 1st April

The Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on reviewing the Gambling Act 2005.

Friday 3rd April

The Bishop of London received a written answer to a question on Covid-19 support to people in immigration removal centres.

Monday 6th April

The Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on encouraging food production as a result of Covid-19.

Monday 20th April

The Bishop of Durham received answers to written questions on the immigration health surcharge.

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