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Electronic Voting

Volume 639: debated on Thursday 26 April 2018

7. To ask the right hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington, representing the House of Commons Commission, what representations the Commission has received on the potential installation of electronic voting systems in the Chamber as part of (a) the restoration and renewal programme and (b) the northern estate programme. (904970)

Representations have been made through previous oral questions to the House of Commons Commission, including by the hon. Gentleman himself. He may remember that I responded in similar terms to the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Angus Brendan MacNeil) in January. The Commission has given no formal consideration to a move to electronic voting in the House as part of either the restoration and renewal programme or the northern estate programme. Its responsibility in this matter is limited to any financial or staffing implications of any change to the present system were such a change to be agreed by the House.

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain whether the Commission would be prepared to receive any such representations, or whether there should be some other mechanism by which this House can actually have a proper debate and a proper discussion about dragging ourselves somewhere into the late 20th century in time for this restoration and renewal somewhere in the middle of the 21st century?

I thank the hon. Gentleman. I suspect that, from earlier responses, he will be aware that he needs to present his ideas, in the initial stages, to the Procedure Committee for it to consider. However, there will also be an opportunity, as part of a consultation around the northern estate programme, for him to contribute, and he could contribute in advance of that by contacting Emma Wharton who is responsible for that programme and for the restoration and renewal. I am sure that she would be happy to receive his representation.