West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is supporting the Bill published today to reinstate virtual Parliament as the country moves towards lockdown.
The Remote Participation in Parliament is published today to allow MPs to participate in debates whether or not they are self-isolating, shielding or want to respect local lockdown or circuit-breaking arrangements to beat back coronavirus.
The Bill, supported by MPs from all parties, if implemented by the Government, would ensure that millions of voters who are currently not heard in debates would regain their voice before it’s second reading on November 6th.
The Bill “Requires the Leader of the House of Commons to move a Motion asserting the equal right of all Members of the House of Commons to participate in proceedings and establishing mechanisms for MPs unable to attend Westminster to vote remotely and to participate remotely in proceedings, including debates and general committees.”
Originally drafted by Geraint Davies MP and presented by Dawn Butler MP, the Bill has cross-party support.
Supporting the Bill, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“As Parliament is debating how to hold back a surge in coronavirus, the country’s future post-Brexit and the financial support required to avert mass unemployment, it is important that all constituencies in or out of lockdown, have a voice which will require that we bring back our digital democracy.”
Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West said:
“As the country moves into lockdown MPs must not be locked out of democracy.
“Wales and Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland will be in a temporary lockdown ‘circuit-breaker’ and northern city regions under major restrictions to push the virus into retreat so that our NHS is not over-whelmed. The decisions being made are crucial for the health of our citizens, our economy and our democracy so it’s essential we all have a voice in these debates.
Brent Central MP Dawn Butler added:
“At a time that the public are being asked to do the right thing and to work from home wherever possible it’s crucial that we re-introduce the facility for MPs to speak and vote remotely. All voters must have a voice in Parliament on the key decisions ahead and that means stopping the ban on speaking in debates from outside Parliament. Equal rights to participation is fundamental to our democracy and safety at work must be observed. The Government should lead by example.”