Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:38 am on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:38 am, 15th October 2020

I am obviously sympathetic to the position that my right hon. Friend finds herself in—she is a much respected Member of this House—but the truth is that democracy has not died; it is thriving, because we are holding our debates properly. My right hon. Friend does take part—she is taking part now in interrogative proceedings, which is an exception to our normal course of business. Debates do not work without interventions. I know that she wishes to introduce a private Member’s Bill on Friday, but when a Member introduces a Bill, they need to be questioned and cross-examined on what is happening. That does not work in remote proceedings. When we had remote proceedings, there was no facility for interventions. The remote voting system in the House of Lords went down, and they had to do it all over again. We cannot have systems that fail. When we are here in person, the debates work, the legislation is challenged and democracy is upheld.