MPs approve historic motion to allow remote participation in key Commons proceedings

21 April 2020

MPs have approved a motion that will allow them to participate in questions (including PMQs), urgent questions and ministerial statements via video link.

The motion, which was approved without a vote on Tuesday 21 April, will allow members to participate either virtually or physically in the Chamber.

A maximum of 50 MPs will be able to be present in the Chamber at any one time to comply with social distancing guidelines.

A maximum of 120 MPs will be able to take part remotely over the course of any “hybrid proceedings”, which will constitute the first two hours of each sitting.

Under the terms of the motion, the House will continue to meet at its usual sitting times, but only on Mondays (from 2.30pm), Tuesdays and Wednesdays (both from 11.30am).

The first item of Commons business covered by these proceedings will be tomorrow’s questions to the Secretary of State for Wales (from 11.30am) followed by Prime Minister’s Questions (from noon). It is expected that there will then be a Ministerial Statement from the Health and Social Care Secretary.

With hybrid proceedings covering questions, urgent questions and statements, all other Chamber proceedings will be entirely physical. A motion to extend hybrid proceedings to cover other business (eg legislation) is expected to appear on tomorrow’s Order Paper.

Image: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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