Proceedings during the Pandemic — 2 Jun 2020 at 15:36
A majority of MPs voted to end the procedure enabling MPs to vote remotely, online, which had been introduced due to the covid-19 pandemic and to require members to be physically present on the Parliamentary estate to vote.
MPs were considering the following motion:
- That the resolution of the House of 21 April (Proceedings during the pandemic) be rescinded and the following orders be made and have effect until 7 July 2020:
- (1) That the following order have effect in place of Standing Order No. 38 (Procedure on divisions):
- (a) If the opinion of the Speaker or the chair as to the decision on a question is challenged, the Speaker or the chair shall declare that a division shall be held.
- (b) Divisions shall be conducted under arrangements made by the Speaker provided that:
- (i) Members may only participate physically within the Parliamentary estate; and
- (ii) the arrangements adhere to the guidance issued by Public Health England.
- (2) Standing Order No. 40 (Division unnecessarily claimed) shall not apply.
- (3) In Standing Order No. 41A (Deferred divisions):
- (a) At the end of paragraph (5)(a), insert “, provided that (i) Members may only participate physically within the Parliamentary estate; and (ii) the arrangements adhere to the guidance issued by Public Health England”.
- (b) In paragraph (5)(b) delete “two and a half hours” and insert “at least two and a half hours”.
- (c) In paragraph (5)(c) delete “after the expiry of the period mentioned in subparagraph (b) above”.
- (4) The Speaker or chair may limit the number of Members present in the Chamber at any one time and Standing Orders Nos. 7 (Seats not to be taken before prayers) and 8 (Seats secured at prayers) shall not apply.
- (5) Standing Orders Nos. 83J to 83X (Certification according to territorial application etc) shall not apply.
The amendment rejected in this vote was amendment (d), which stated:
- leave out from “rescinded” to end and add:
- (a) That the following order (Conduct of divisions) be made and have effect either until the Speaker states that the ordinary conduct of divisions and deferred divisions is consistent with relevant public health guidance and advice and with the legal duties of the House of Commons Commission and the Corporate Officer, or until the House otherwise orders:
- (1) Standing Orders Nos. 38, 40 and 41A (save as provided for in the temporary order of 22 April (Conduct of remote divisions)) shall not have effect;
- (2) If the opinion of the Speaker or the chair as to the decision of a question is challenged, they shall direct that a remote division or, as the case may be, a remote deferred division, take place;
- (3) Paragraph 1 and paragraphs 3 to 9 of the temporary order of 22 April (Conduct of remote divisions) shall have effect, and
- (b) That the following order (Participation in proceedings) be made and have effect from the hour the House sits tomorrow until 7 July 2020:
- (1) The Speaker may limit the number of Members present in the Chamber at any one time.
- (2) Standing Order No. 7 (Seats not to be taken before prayers), No. 8 (Seats secured at prayers) and Nos. Standing Orders Nos. 83J to 83X shall not have effect.
- (3) The provisions of Standing Orders [No. 6 (Time for taking the oath), No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in bills etc), No. 57 (Presentation and first reading of public bills) and No. 154 (Time and manner of presenting petitions) shall have effect so far as the Speaker determines them to be consistent with the relevant public health guidance; and the Speaker may order the practice of the House in respect of those orders to be varied to ensure compliance with the relevant guidance.
- (4) Standing Order No. 24 (1) (Emergency debates) shall have effect with the omission of the words “the assent of not fewer than forty Members who shall thereupon rise in their places to support the motion, or, if fewer than forty Members and not fewer than ten shall thereupon rise in their places.”.
The motion rejected in this vote was:
- That the amendment be made.
The amendment in question was amendment (d).
A new voting process involving Members stating their names and saying “Aye” or “No” at the relevant Dispatch Box was used for the first time in this division due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Some MPs may not have felt taking part in this vote was safe. See a mySociety blog post on "Parliamentary votes during COVID-19" showing which MPs could vote using which method at different times during the pandemic.
-  House of Commons, Official Record, 2 June 2020
-  House of Commons, Official Record, 2 June 2020
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||240 (+2 tell)||31 (+1 tell)||0||75.1%|
|Lab||0||131 (+1 tell)||0||65.3%|