politics

New plans will give MPs the opportunity to vote by proxy in the House of Commons


PROXY voting is to be allowed in the Commons after the pre-summer outcry over a new mum being unable to have her say during a crunch Brexit debate.

Under a paternal leave motion, parliamentarians not physically able to vote will be able to nominate a colleague on their behalf.

 Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis, who made a deal to abstain from a vote but failed to make good his promise

PA:Press Association/PA Images

Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis, who made a deal to abstain from a vote but failed to make good his promise

Ministers are drawing up a motion to be put forward in September when MPs return from recess.

It followed a row earlier in the summer when Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis broke a pairing arrangement with Lib Dem Deputy Leader Jo Swinson who was away on maternity leave.

Instead of abstain as agreed, Mr Lewis voted with the Government although he later apologised claiming it was an error.

The proxy voting plans are likely to be supported across the board by most parties.

 Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson felt she had been betrayed when the Tory chairman broke his pairing deal with her

PA:Press Association/PA Images

Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson felt she had been betrayed when the Tory chairman broke his pairing deal with her

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said she was absolutely committed to providing a “family friendly parliament” and wanted to make progress on parental leave this autumn.

But Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs committee, said he backed the current system.

He told website Politico: “If you don’t need to be in parliament then actually what I would do of course is I would spend most of my time in my community fixing local issues because that is something most people care about.

“I wouldn’t be in Westminster debating the issues of state, massive issues of government, and that is actually what an MP’s job is.”

 Commons leader Andrea Leadsom has promised a 'family friendly parliament'

AFP or licensors

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom has promised a ‘family friendly parliament’


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