Skip to main content

Speaker’s Statement

Volume 676: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2020

Following the report of the Procedure Committee, and in advance of the first remote Division taking place later today, I have a statement to make about remote Divisions. A decision of the House arrived at by a remote Division has the same effect as a decision arrived at by more traditional means. I ask all Members to pay careful attention to what the Procedure Committee says about the integrity of the system. As the Committee states, any attempt to allow anyone who is not a Member to vote is likely to be a serious breach of privilege.

The Committee asked me to get a report on the number of Members not registered on the system. I can tell the House that all Members are automatically registered on MemberHub. I have received a report from the House Service that eight Members have not used MemberHub to vote in a remote voting test. I am satisfied that steps have been taken to enable them to vote should they wish to do so.

On each relevant day, when the business motion is agreed, I will announce my provisional determination on remote Divisions for that day. That provisional determination will be based on representations received by my office. Further representations can be made in the course of the day in question, and the final determination may change in consequence. It is integral to the success of hybrid proceedings that there is greater certainty about the timing and conduct of business than would normally be the case, and I do not expect changes to my determination to be a regular occurrence.

Finally, I want to assure Members that I will keep the system under review. I will carefully consider feedback from Members and information supplied to me by the Parliamentary Digital Service and House Service in accordance with relevant recommendations of the Procedure Committee. Further guidance on the matters in this statement has been published.