A Bill to return full online participation in the House of Commons ahead of a second Coronavirus wave was presented in Parliament yesterday with the support of Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon.
The Remote Participation in House of Commons Proceedings Bill was presented by Dawn Butler, MP for Brent, presented on behalf of Geraint Davies, Swansea West MP, who is self-isolating and therefore barred from presenting the Bill himself.
The parliamentary arrangements which had functioned until June 2nd allowed all MPs to partake in questions, committees, debates, and online voting. These were abolished on June 2nd when the Government ended the hybrid parliament, in a vote that excluded shielding members who were unable to attend but the most affected.
Layla said: “I support this Bill so all constituents can be represented during these turbulent times, whether or not their MP is self-isolating, as it would ensure that democracy is resumed in this country.
“The situation we have this week, where the Government is pushing through a Bill that contradicts a previous Bill that was voted for by Parliament, in so doing undermining international law, while the Leader of the Opposition is banned from speaking because he is self-isolating on government’s advice, is ridiculous.
“People across the country have grave concerns about what this Government is doing with the economy, coronavirus and our future trade deals so it’s important full democratic participation is resumed to give every voter a voice.”
The Remote Participation in House of Commons Proceedings Bill will be given a second reading on 25 September.