Rees-Mogg's parliament voting plan is "ridiculous", says former Lords Speaker

2 June 2020, 10:38

The plans to force MPs to return to parliament to vote are "ridiculous", the former Lords Speaker has told LBC.

Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg is trying to push through plans to end the hybrid system of voting where 50 MPs vote in the House with the rest working remotely.

That has led to furious opposition from MPs, with SNP MPs complaining that it makes it difficult for them to vote, while those who are shielding, like Tory MP Robert Halfon said it means he will be unable to participate.

Baroness Helene Hayman told Nick Ferrari she understands Mr Rees-Mogg's desire to get MPs back in Parliament, but labelled the voting plans "ridiculous".

Nick Ferrari spoke to Baroness Hayman over the new voting rules
Nick Ferrari spoke to Baroness Hayman over the new voting rules. Picture: LBC / PA

She said: "I agree with the government on one sense. Parliament needs to be back working because the government needs to be held to account. It needs to set an example of how to do that effectively.

"For the majority of MPs, that means coming back in person. They'll have difficulties with travel, just like other people have difficulties with travel.

"But I do worry about disenfranchising individual MPs who do have to be shielded, who are sick themselves and you disenfranchise their constituents at the same time.

"I don't understand why they're insistent on setting the voting system up as a physical and very, very cumbersome voting system when they've actually instigated a remote voting system which was working.

"It's ridiculous! I'm a great believer in physical voting, because crowded into a lobby a backbench MP can see a Minister and collar them. But you won't be able to do that, so it's the worst of all worlds."

Nick suggested they look for a middle ground and Baroness Hayman pointed out they already have one - the hybrid system which they were using before the half-term recess.

Watch her interview at the top of the page.