Global Edition

MPs to debate re-opening of golf courses

11.18am 18th November 2020 - Coronavirus News - This story was updated on Friday, November 20th, 2020

UK Members of Parliament are to hold a debate next week on the re-opening of golf courses in England.

As a direct result of an online petition to keep golf clubs open that was signed by over 250,000 people following the implementation of the second Covid lockdown on November 5, a select group of MPs will be debating the matter on November 23. 

MPs will be able to debate the petition for up to 90 minutes, with those attending having the opportunity to question government ministers directly on the issue of golf course closures. The debate will take place in Westminster Hall from 4.30pm and will be available to view on Parliament TV.

Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North, Chair of the Petitions Committee, leading the discussions. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will send a minister to respond.

The Committee is currently made up of 11 backbench Members of Parliament from government and opposition parties, including Martyn Day (SNP); Elliot Colburn (Con); Jonathan Gullis (Con); Chris Evans (Lab); Katherine Fletcher (Con); Nick Fletcher (Con); Mike Hill (Lab); Tom Hunt (Con); Tonia Antoniazzi (Lab), and Theresa Villiers (Con).

The petition, which attracted more than 257,000 signatures, stated: “Isolation essential to the Government’s strategy for fighting coronavirus, and UK citizens must remain healthy and exercise whilst keeping adequate distance between people. The Government should allow golf courses to open so families or individuals can play golf in order to exercise safely.”

In response to the petition, the Government said: “Sports and physical activity facilities are crucial for adults and children to stay active. The Government’s phased approach is based on scientific and medical advice to protect public health.”

To watch the debate live online, click here. To read a transcript of the debate after November 23, click here.

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