UK coronavirus live: parliament to close early, as 170,000 people sign up overnight to be NHS volunteers | Politics

Good morning. This week the government said that businesses involved in non-essential work should close and tonight parliament itself is due to shut down, with MPs starting the Easter recess one week earlier than expected. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Commons, has tabled a motion on today’s order paper to that effect. The recess won’t start until the coronavirus bill has been passed, but it is due to clear its final stages in the Lords later this afternoon. The decision to adjourn early comes as no great surprise, but it is yet one more sign of the way the coronavirus outbreak has upended all aspects of normal life.

This move means that today will be Jeremy Corbyn’s last PMQs as Labour leader. In other circumstances this would have been a big moment, but today attention will be elsewhere.

The early adjournment obviously is not intended as a comment on parliament’s usefulness, and today we should see some good examples of how MPs perform a vital scrutiny function. PMQs will mark the first time Boris Johnson has taken questions from anyone since he delivered his unprecedented lockdown directive on Monday night. And this morning there are two potentially important committee hearings, the highlight of which will be Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, being questioned by the science committee. Some have claimed that the experts are really running the country at the moment and, appropriately enough, Vallance is up at 12pm – the same time as PMQs.

Adjournment motion

Adjournment motion Photograph: House of Commons

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30am: Thérèse Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, gives evidence to the Commons work and pensions committee about coronavirus.

10.15am: Prof Neil Ferguson, director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College gives evidence to the Commons science committee about coronavirus. He is followed by Dr Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, at 10.55am; by Dr Melanie Saville, director of vaccine research and development for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and by Prof Andrew Pollard, professor of paediatric infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, at 11.15am; by Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser at 12pm; and by Prof Sharon Peacock, director of the national infection service at Public Health England at 12.45pm.

12pm: Boris Johnson faces Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs.

1.30pm: Downing Street lobby briefing.

3.30pm: Peers resume their debate on the coronavirus bill. It is due to clear the Lords before the end of the day.

Afternoon: The government is due to hold its daily coronavirus press conference.

Evening: The Commons is due to rise early for the Easter recess after the coronavirus bill passes its remaining stages in the House

We will be covering all UK coronavirus developments throughout the day. You can read all the latest Guardian coronavirus articles here, you can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here and here is the Politico Europe roundup of this morning’s political news.

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