After probing the Shadow Home Secretary about Russian activity in the UK at the time of the EU referendum, Good Morning Britain host Ranvir Singh was keen to find out if Mr Thomas-Symonds thought it was a good idea for MPs to go on holiday during an ongoing pandemic. Singh didn’t hold back as she blasted the Labour MP for taking a recess of 63 working days this year.
Shephard began: “What’s your thoughts, what do you say to you constituents and people at home this morning about whether politicians need to be at work or whether they should be allowed to have a holiday?”
“Well I think the distinction between parliament sitting and parliament not sitting, clearly it’s a different type of work,” Thomas-Symonds said.
“But I’ll be working all through the summer, I’ve got three young children. I’ll be going away for three days in this country fairly close to home but I’ll be contactable for urgent things.
“I think there’s a distinction as well Ben between politicians like myself who take on a very particular responsibility on the front bench which means availability around the clock is important.”
“People have other responsibilities that vary around the calendar year, some in parliament, some in constituencies,” he continued.
“What I would also say is that I’ve seen people around me right across parliament who have been working extremely hard through this pandemic.
“I imagine that almost without exception they’ll continue to work through the summer too.”
Ranvir slammed: “You do get about 12 weeks of holiday as MPs, don’t you? That’s an extraordinary amount.”
Those tuning into Good Morning Britain were also shocked to learn how long MPs take off for a holiday.
Taking to Twitter, one asked: “How many weeks holiday do MP’s receive? #GMB.”
Another posted: “MPs get 63 days off.. Wtf! #gmb.”
“Imagine taking 6 weeks off during a pandemic. Granted they’ve been working flat out since the start of the year, so why not stagger a week or two annual leave for all mps just like any other workplace. #GMTV #gmb @GMB,” a third wrote.