MPs have defeated an amendment to allow online parliamentary voting to continue during the coronavirus crisis by 185 votes to 242, majority 57
A lengthy in-person voting process will now be adopted, which sees members having to form a large queue in order to maintain the two-metre social distancing rule.
It was tested today, as MPs voiced their view on the move, and saw queues of MPs snaked around the Palace of Westminster
The plan has been criticised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on the grounds it excludes elected representatives who cannot attend due to shielding.
Many MPs taking part in today’s vote also took to Twitter to criticise the length of the process.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth posted: “Surely we can find a better way to vote in the Commons that this and one that allows those MPs shielding to take part as well??”
And Labour’s Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP said: “This queue stretches out of the Palace, across a courtyard and into another building. Until last week all 650 MPs could vote safely from home online. @Jacob_Rees_Mogg will really go to extreme lengths to prevent parliament from coming into the 21st century!”
Conservative MP Aaron Bell joked that he was social distancing “Westminster-style”, showing a picture of a sign that told queueing members to “keep a gap of one flagstone at all times”.
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