Temporary changes to Lords business
17 April 2020
The House of Lords will feature virtual Oral Questions, Private Notice Questions (Lords urgent questions), Statements and non-legislative debates held online to ensure the House can fulfil its important constitutional role, and members of the House can continue to hold the government to account, while respecting current social distancing guidelines.
Members will be supported to use online platforms to ask questions of Ministers during the House's daily Oral Questions, listen to and respond to Ministerial Statements and Private Notice Questions, and contribute to non-legislative debates. This is the first time members will have been able to contribute to these proceedings without being physically in the Chamber of the House of Lords.
Debates on legislation will initially continue to be held in the Chamber with an expectation of limited participation. This is because any proceeding that requires the House to take a decision must still be done through a physical sitting of the House. Further trials to allow Second Reading and Committee Stage debates to take place virtually will be undertaken over the coming weeks.
The proceedings of the ‘virtual' House are broadcast on Parliament TV. Hansard reports of the virtual proceedings will be published online from three hours after they take place. More detailed information on questions will also be available on the House of Lords News site and on twitter at @UKHouseofLords.
More details on sittings are available in this guidance from the House of Lords Procedure Committee.
- Coronavirus research and analysis from the House of Lords Library
- Follow what members of the Lords are talking about on the Lords Digital Chamber
- Coronavirus news on the UK Parliament website
Image: House of Lords