- MPs are set to start taking mindfulness classes which will be paid by taxpayers
- Eight-week course, costing £20,000, will battle stress and be taught online
- The Lords’ most senior official, expressed ‘strong reservations’ about the service
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Taxpayers are to fund ‘mindfulness’ classes for MPs costing £20,000 a year.
The House of Lords shunned plans for the meditation programme, warning of the expense at a time of hardship for many.
However, MPs are set to start taking free classes, designed to combat stress, after Easter.
The eight-week courses of hour-long sessions will initially be taught online.
The mindfulness classes will cost £20,000 and will be footed by taxpayers
They will be provided by Awaris, which boasts of ‘transforming organisations into ecosystems of humanity’.
The Lords’ most senior official, the Clerk of the Parliaments, expressed ‘strong reservations about offering this service to members free of charge’ according to an internal document seen by the Mail.
Pointing out that similar services – such as gym classes – are paid for by peers, Edward Ollard said: ‘This expenditure would be novel… and potentially contentious, particularly given the current fiscal climate.’
Nevertheless, the House of Commons has agreed a one-year contract with Awaris to pay for a programme for MPs and staff.
A Commons spokesman said sessions had been available since 2013 ‘for those who require it’.
The taxpayer will foot the bill after the Oxford Mindfulness Centre – which offered classes on a voluntary basis, welcoming donations – scrapped its service last summer.