Valerie responds to a motion on Virtual Participation

On Tuesday 24 November I responded on behalf of HM Opposition to a motion on Virtual Proceedings in parliamentary debates. Before this debate, the Government tried to force through its plan to only extend virtual participation in debates to MPs who are themselves clinically extremely vulnerable by pulling three pieces of business without giving notice to the House.  

The Government’s decision to collapse parliamentary business in this way was unexpected and controversial. To ensure Members were able to debate this matter fully, I spoke at length and took a number of interventions from Members during my speech.

The Opposition’s view is that all Members should be able to contribute to proceedings virtually. This is about equality of representation and participation for all MPs. Members should be able to participate as far as possible in all proceedings – scrutiny and legislative – on a fair and equal basis.

The Government’s plan to extend virtual participation only for those who have been certified by a medical practitioner as clinically extremely vulnerable is an invasion of privacy and refuses access to debates for those MPs who are shielding because they have vulnerable members of their household. 

You can read my full speech during this debate here: