- PARLIAMENT HAD PUT IN PLACE A SYSTEM FOR REMOTE VOTING DURING THE LOCKDOWN
- THE GOVERNMENT NOW FORCING MPS TO RETURN TO WESTMINSTER TO VOTE IN PERSON
- ALEC SHELBROOKE MP VOTED IN FAVOUR OF ENDING REMOTE VOTING
Leeds Liberal Democrats have criticised Leeds Tory MPs Alec Shelbrooke & Stuart Andrew, for joining Jacob Rees-Mogg in forcing MPs to return to Westminster, describing his vote as ‘deeply irresponsible’ and setting ‘a dangerous precedent’.
Despite Government advice continuing to be that people should work from home where possible and Parliamentary authorities bending over backwards to ensure the House of Commons can sit remotely in order to protect public health, Conservative MPs today blocked the opportunity for full scrutiny by all MPs.
With only 50 MPs allowed in the chamber at any time, over 90% of MP’s will lose the ability to contribute to debates and hold Ministers to account through video link. What’s more, with socially distanced voting slowing down Parliament, hours of time better spent debating legislation and questioning Ministers on pressing issues will be wasted.
Commenting, Stewart Golton — Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Leeds City Council — said:
“With the Government continuing to advise that people should work from home where possible, it is extraordinary that the Conservatives have voted to take away the system which had allowed MPs to do just that.
“Forcing MPs to decide between risking their health and that of their family and constituents, and depriving their constituents of their voice in Parliament is deeply irresponsible and sets a dangerous precedent.
“This backwards move is damaging to our democracy. For good reasons, many MPs will be unable to attend Parliament in person. Taking away their ability to participate in debates and vote on legislation means that millions of voters will be left without representation in Parliament. Some principled Tory MPs chose to live up to the Compassionate Conservative image and supported their colleagues who have no option but to shield at home by voting against the government. Shamefully, Alec and Andrew weren’t among them.”