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House of Commons implements proxy voting pilot system for new parents

28 January 2019 (updated on 28 January 2019)

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On Tuesday 29 January, the House of Commons voted decisively to introduce a proxy voting scheme for MPs who are new parents.

On 1 February 2018 MPs backed a resolution calling for MPs who have had a baby or adopted a child to be entitled, but not required, to cast votes in the House by proxy for a period of time.

The Procedure Committee subsequently produced a report setting out practical proposals for the House to consider.

On January 29 2019 the House of Commons voted in favour of the introduction of a proxy voting system without division.

Under a 12 month pilot scheme, MPs will now be able to allow for their votes in divisions of the House to be cast by proxy. By the end of the 12 month period, the Procedure Committee will have carried out a review of the scheme.

Proxy votes may be cast on all private and public business in any division in the House, Committee of the Whole House or Legislative Grand Committee.

It will also apply to votes for the election of a Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Select Committee Chairs.

However voting by proxy will not be permitted in motions under the Fixed Term Parliament Act or Closure Motions.

Proxy voting will be allowed by MPs who are absent from the House by reason of childbirth or care of an infant or newly-adopted child or who have suffered a miscarriage.

A proxy vote may only be cast only the Speaker has certified that the MP who wishes to vote by proxy is eligible. The Speaker's certification, and the name of the MP nominated as a proxy will be published in the Votes and Proceedings.