Michael Fabricant

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The move to end remote voting in the House of Commons has been branded “a little bit childish” by Lichfield and Burntwood’s MP.

MPs had been using online tools as part of restrictions introduced during the coronavirus crisis.

But they have now voted 242 to 185 against an amendment to allow remote voting to continue.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 before the result of the vote, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said the decision to remove the ability for members who cannot travel to Westminster to vote was “rather extreme and a little bit childish”.

“We’ve got a system that works – it’s been tried and tested. It’s not perfect, but it does mean that all members of Parliament can participate and do so safely.

“Of course it’s not as good as actually being there but we can’t all do what we want at this time of COVID-19.”

Michael Fabricant MP
Jacob Rees Mogg. Picture: Chris McAndrew

The vote comes after Jacob Rees Mogg said MPs could “not hide behind a veneer of a virtual parliament”.

“I want to get back to a proper parliament because democracy is essential.”

Jacob Rees Mogg MP

Mr Fabricant said any return would not see Parliament return to the way it was before the coronavirus pandemic.

“It won’t be going back to normal.

“Only 27 Conservative backbenchers will be allowed in the chamber at any one time and the same goes roughly for the opposition members, so it won’t be like it was before.

“Voting is a little like queuing for Ikea. So the idea that Jacob Rees Mogg wanted so much – the cut and thrust of Parliament – just isn’t going to happen.

“The most unfair aspect of it all is for those members who can’t come down, or are being encouraged not to come down, won’t be able to vote in legislation.

“This disenfranchises a whole bunch of MPs and that has to be wrong.”

Michael Fabricant MP

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Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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11 Comments

  1. Kids can go back to school, people can go back to work so what is the problem with MP’s going back to their place of work.

  2. Well said Mr F…….I don’t often say that! The Rt Hon Member for the C18th is wrong in his view and is merely trying to ensure Boris has a wall of noise behind him at PMQs. Join the C21st please Jacob.

  3. Vote held only by MPs actually physically present, online voting not allowed. Shielding MPs and MPs following government guidelines disenfranchised.

    I mean, fair play to Fabbo for standing against it, but doesn’t he mean “A little bit corrupt”?

  4. What has Fabricant got to do with anything other than himself, what a lot of people in here forget is that half of Lichfield is in Tamworth for political reasons

  5. The Tories have only done this because Johnson is struggling so much without the private school boys baying like animals behind him. They will essentially create a cheering section to drown out the opposition when talking and add support to Johnson’s words. A disgraceful move by a government unable to cope.

  6. Well said Mr Fabricant. It’s utterly absurd and completely unnecessary to ask MPs to return for no valid reason (that I can see).

    Mr Mogg is way off the mark with this.

    (See Mr Fabricant, even I agree with you sometimes…!)

  7. Totally agree with Chris on his comments there. Perhaps they’re missing the subsidised lunches in the restaurant also. Total overhaul needed!

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