Stirling MP Alyn Smith has joined a cross-party campaign to reinstate the previously implemented ‘hybrid proceedings’ in the House of Commons.
In line with public health guidance, that states those who can work from home should do so, MPs are formally requesting the UK government to re-enable Members to fully participate in House proceedings remotely, including voting.
A hybrid system was first introduced in April 2020, in response to the growing public health crisis and the need to reduce physical and social contact in workplaces. Since then, the Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has insisted that physical proceedings, including in-person voting, be resumed as soon as possible despite the obvious implications for workplace safety.
Alyn Smith MP said:
‘COVID-19 spreads when given the opportunity to. Any workplace that can work from home, should do so in order to uphold public health guidance and reduce the overall spread of the disease.
‘Whilst there have been some teething problems, the UK Parliament has adapted in its use of digital technologies – there is no good reason for the mass movement of MPs and staff members to and fro from London, during a global pandemic.
‘I back calls to fully reestablish hybrid proceedings, and inject some modernity and common sense into an often anarchical institution. The Leader of the House of Commons Jacob-Rees Mogg might not like it, but we’re in the 21st century.’
Timeline of proceedings: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/covid-19-hybrid-proceedings-in-the-house-of-commons/