Motion made, and Question proposed,
(1) the Resolution of the House of 4 June (Proxy Voting (Extension)) be amended as follows:
Delete “because they themselves are at high risk from coronavirus for reasons that they are either ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ or ‘clinically vulnerable’” and insert “for medical or public health reasons related to the pandemic”.
(2) the temporary Standing Order (Voting by proxy) be amended as follows:
(a) Delete paragraph (1) and insert “(1) A Member may, by reason of absence from the precincts of the House: (a) for childbirth or care of an infant or newly adopted child, or (b) because they are unable to attend at Westminster for medical or public health reasons related to the pandemic, arrange for their vote to be cast in accordance with this order by another Member acting as a proxy (a proxy vote).”
(b) In paragraph (9) delete “the Order of 4 June 2020 (Proxy Voting (Temporary Standing Order)), and the Resolutions of the House of 28 January 2019 and 4 June 2020” and insert “the Order of 4 June 2020 (Proxy Voting (Temporary Standing Order)), and the Resolutions of the House of 28 January 2019, 4 June 2020 and 10 June 2020”.—(David Rutley.)
I will speak briefly, so as not to detain the House. I spoke in the Standing Order No. 24 debate on this matter on Monday, when I urged the Leader of the House to listen to the debate and make the changes that he has indeed brought forward to extend proxy voting. I therefore thought it appropriate to say on the Floor of the House what I have said on Twitter, and thank the Leader for listening to what was said in the House and for extending proxy voting to enable those with caring responsibilities, and those who have reasons other than their own medical condition and are unable to be present—it is not that they do not want to come to the House—to have the opportunity to have a proxy vote and have their vote cast on their behalf. To the Leader, I say thank you.
One other thing, which is a question for the Leader to think about. I also said on Monday that I hoped—he indicated that he was open to this—to see whether it was technically possible to enable colleagues who are not able to be present in the House to participate in the legislative functions of the House, albeit I acknowledged that perhaps they would not be able to participate fully, as in intervening. I wonder whether he has made any progress on that. I accept that the matter may be technically complex and require some further thought, but I thought it worth mentioning on the Floor of the House. When the Leader has listened and responded to what is said in the House, it is appropriate to say thank you to him for doing so.
Question put and agreed to.