Shielding MP disgusted by voting rules: "I've been denied my right to vote"

2 June 2020, 18:57 | Updated: 2 June 2020, 19:59

By Seán Hickey

As parliament passed a vote obliging MPs to be present to be able to cast a ballot, the implications for vulnerable MPs have been overlooked.

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg tabled a motion to prevent the resumption of a virtual Parliament, which has allowed MPs to legislate from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

MPs chose to discontinue remote voting with 242 votes to 185 in a victory for the Government.

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge told LBC listeners she has been working tirelessly during lockdown to find the most efficient way to serve as an MP from home, being over 70.

She told Eddie that today was the first time she was "denied the right to vote" and that Mr Rees-Mogg has made her feel disenfranchised and "discriminated against."

The Labour MP pointed out the plans to provide voting rights for people who cannot come to parliament but added that "we don't know who's going to be covered by that."

"There's a whole range of MPs for whom this is very difficult," she said and proceeded to call out Jacob Rees-Mogg by stating that "he won't allow us to vote, which is extraordinary."

Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg proposed an end to remote voting
Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg proposed an end to remote voting. Picture: PA

Dame Margaret told Eddie that "people who want to hold me to account must know what I voted" and being refused that right undermines her position as an MP.

She went on to state that "we had a perfectly good system" that "could have kept that going until it is safe to return to the house of commons, it currently isn't."

The Labour MP gave an interesting point to listeners which put the whole debate into perspective. She stated that if MPs were employees, their employer would be violating the governments regulations on equality, public health and human rights.

Dame Margaret argued that this was the government blatantly "ignoring legislation they have put through and what they expect the rest of the country to adhere to" and are holding MPs to a different standard.

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