Deferred Divisions: Coronavirus

Leader of the House written question – answered on 15th June 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Leader of the House, if he will make it his policy to utilise the e-voting system previously used by hon. Members during hybrid proceedings for the process of holding deferred divisions; what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the use of paper for deferred divisions on the transmission of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

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

The introduction of remote voting dealt with the particular circumstances we faced at the time. It was only ever agreed as a temporary measure during an emergency, and any long term changes should be a decision for the House following an inquiry by the Procedure Committee. In the context of a physical return of Parliament, not returning to physical voting would be a significant anomaly and I welcome the House’s agreement to the Government’s approach. The Government is working closely with the Speaker and House Authorities on how voting works in practice, whether that is for live or deferred divisions. I hope I can assure the Hon. Lady that the House authorities are completing this work in consultation with Public Health England to ensure it is in line with public health advice.

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