How can this be democratic? - Hina Bokhari

Jacob Rees-Mogg has made our Parliament a laughing stock and made a mockery of our democratic systems.

With only 50 MPs permitted in the Commons and virtual questions no longer allowed, Jacob Rees-Mogg is setting a dangerous precedent by blocking opportunity for full scrutiny. This is especially worrying for those Members unable to travel to Westminster for coronavirus-related reasons.

Conservative MPs such as Steve Baker ridiculed the process. Queuing for hours to vote when a perfectly suitable virtual system was already in place is farcical. And yet, Steve Baker joined all his Conservative colleagues including Paul Scully and Elliot Colburn to vote for a system that is not needed.

The Government's advice to the public is to work from home if possible. Parliamentary authorities have bent over backwards to ensure the House of Commons can sit remotely to help protect public health. There is no good reason not to continue to do just that. 

What's more, the need for socially distanced votes will slow down Parliament and waste hours of time better spent debating legislation and questioning Ministers on pressing issues. This is no way to serve our constituents and the Government must think again about shutting down virtual proceedings.

Photo by Marcin Nowak on Unsplash

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