Proxy Voting: Coronavirus

Leader of the House written question – answered on 4th May 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Leader of the House, what recent discussions he has had on allowing the proxy voting system in the House of Commons to be extended during the covid-19 outbreak to include hon Members who also work as NHS clinicians.

Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons

While proxy voting is ultimately a matter for the House, the Government does not intend to extend the scope of the pilot scheme. We of course owe a huge debt of gratitude to the NHS workforce, especially those who are also Members of Parliament. I hope the arrangements for remote voting, agreed by the House on 22 April 2020, will help support those Hon. Members who also work as NHS clinicians during the continuing hybrid procedures in Parliament.

However, the Government is aware that some of those Hon. Members working in the NHS may be unable to take part in the remote voting process. Therefore the Government will ensure that these MPs are paired, so their absence does not affect the outcome of any votes.

The Government is committed to listening carefully to the views of Members across the House, including those of the Procedure Committee, as we develop these new and temporary ways of working. However, it is the Government’s clear view that the current arrangements are temporary and the House will return to the normal tried and tested ways of working as soon as possible.

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