Gove cancels Thursdays for Tory MPs

Conservative MPs will not be expected to stay in Westminster on Thursdays, according to a letter from chief whip Michael Gove.

The letter, which was reported in The Times, was sent to Conservative MPs earlier in the month. They will be expected to be in Westminster from 3.30pm on Mondays until the end of Wednesdays’ business. However, Michael Gove has insisted that MPs are expected to use the time for their re-election efforts.

The announcement will spark some debate on the merits of fixed term parliaments, with a gradual slowdown in the government’s legislative agenda ahead of the general election. The decision is likely to be mirrored by Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, but also underlines the expected tightness of the election race, with MPs being given additional time in their constituencies in what will be one of the longest-ever UK election campaigns.