Sir Lindsay Hoyle reveals rules and dress code behind new Virtual Parliament

21 April 2020, 10:57

By Adrian Sherling

The Speaker of the House of Commons told LBC interruptions from children would be inevitable as parliament re-opens in a online setting this afternoon.

With coronavirus social distancing measures in place, most MPs will remain at home and join a Virtual Parliament via Zoom this afternoon.

Nick Ferrari asked Sir Lindsay Hoyle the challenges he is expecting from this new way of working.

Sir Lindsay said: "The challenges will be we will have one question from the chamber and then we have another 10 coming in remotely. So it's about whether the line goes down, people can freeze.

"We've got to be prepared for all things going wrong. I think you'll know better than I do of when things go wrong online.

"The real challenge is making sure that the minister is ready, we get the question and then we roll on through.

"We're starting with a base of 120 joining in online and we want to increase that, but we want to make sure that we don't crash the system."

Nick Ferrari had a very entertaining conversation with Sir Lindsay Hoyle
Nick Ferrari had a very entertaining conversation with Sir Lindsay Hoyle. Picture: LBC / PA

He insisted standards would remain high, even when MPs are working from home. He stated: "I think it's only fair that the same rules apply to someone who's in the chamber to someone remotely. Hence why I am very worried about Michael Fabricant's pink shorts.

"I am also saying to members, think about the background, think what's behind you. I know at some point we will see children perhaps wandering in. All these new challenges for all of us."

He revealed that during an important meeting last week, he had locked the door to keep everyone out, only for his cat to jump into the room through the window.

It was a wonderfully-entertaining interview that really lifted the mood of listeners. Watch it at the top of the page.