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Procedure Committee outlines proposals to keep Commons committees running remotely

23 March 2020

The Chair of the Procedure Committee, Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, has written to the Government Chief Whip detailing a number of proposals which would enable temporary changes to be made to the practices of House of Commons committees to ensure that their business can continue should they be required to meet remotely.

Keeping Parliament running

The Committee has also drafted a motion to enable the changes to take effect following approval by the House.

The letter comes after a Memorandum from the Clerk of the House of Commons was provided to the Committee, outlining potential options to ensure the continuity of Parliamentary business in a safe and responsible way.

These measures are intended to keep Parliament running during this difficult time as it responds to the Coronavirus pandemic, whilst mitigating the risk of Covid-19 being spread among those on the Parliamentary Estate.

Chair's comments

Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, Chair of the Procedure Committee, said:

"The Procedure Committee has had intensive discussions on the possible impact on the House of any measures taken in response to Coronavirus.

The proposals which I have made to the Government Chief Whip would, if adopted by the House, give MPs the ability to participate remotely in committee meetings if necessary and practicable. They also allow for Committee reports to be agreed remotely. The Committee considers that this is an appropriate response to the rapidly-developing situation.

Implementation of these proposals would be for the House of Commons to agree. The Committee has drafted a motion which would enable this.

The Committee would like to thank the Clerk of the House and his colleagues for the steps they are taking to ensure that select committees can carry on their vital work."

Further information

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