Rees-Mogg Heading for Showdown Over End of Hybrid Parliament

The Leader of the House of Commons is in for a rough ride this afternoon as he is expected to face a hostile reception from opposition MPs who reject the great British institution of queuing. As Guido depicted yesterday, if 400 MPs queue in a socially distant way, the line would stretch almost a kilometre. Last night a Commons briefing note described how the (optimistically estimated) 30-minute process will work:

  • MPs line up and vote in the chamber, either side of the Speaker’s chair, rather than the voting lobbies.
  • MPs will file down the left-hand side of the Table to vote Aye, and the right to vote No.
  • Four tellers will be in place behind the speaker’s chair to count the votes.
  • As with swearing in, this process will be broadcast live. Keen viewers will be able to calculate the results of divisions before the Speaker does…

Members have consequently been advised that “when you are near the front of the queue you should be aware that what you say may be audible”. Spoilsports.

A storm is brewing, however, over vulnerable MPs who are shielding at home and who want to vote. Shielding Tory Rob Halfon is mounting a campaign to extend the proxy voting available to MPs on maternity leave to those who are shielding as well. Guido hears that the Government may be receptive to this argument. One to watch at 13:30…

mdi-tag-outline House of Commons
mdi-account-multiple-outline Jacob Rees-Mogg
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