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Speaker backs plan for more MPs to register for proxy vote

10 June 2020

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MPs who cannot vote in the House of Commons in person are now able to register themselves to vote by proxy, the Speaker of the House of Commons has said. 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle urged Members who require a proxy for medical or public health reasons related to the pandemic to register for a certificate as soon as possible. 

The move comes after the House approved a motion on 10 June that extended proxy voting to match the criteria to those who could participate in hybrid proceedings. 

Sir Lindsay said: I am pleased that this measure now allows MPs who are using hybrid proceedings to scrutinise the Government to also be able to take part in voting – a crucial part of our role as Members of Parliament.” 

In a letter to MPs, he explained that they should write to, or email him, once agreement has been reached with another Member who is eligible to vote in divisions - that they will be a proxy and cast votes as and when instructed. 

They need to give the date from when the proxy voting period should start – but not any details about why they are eligible for a proxy vote under the scheme's extension. 

Once a certificate has been issued, the proxy arrangement will start when the Speaker takes the Chair on the following sitting day. It is hoped the new scheme will begin on Monday, 15 June. 

MPs can change their nominated proxy – or decide to return to voting in person – but they must do this by the rise of the House on the sitting day before they want the change to happen. 

Photo credit: Jessica Taylor / UK Parliament