MPs will return to parliament in person today, despite a growing rebellion over plans for voting to take place in queues up to a kilometre long.
For several weeks, MPs have been able to vote electronically and join debates by video link, under virtual House of Commons arrangements, which have now come to an end.
Only 50 MPs can sit in the Commons while maintaining a two-metre distance from each other; but ministers insist all MPs who can safely return must now do so.
If the government’s plans are agreed this afternoon, MPs would have to travel to Westminster to debate and vote in person while following social distancing rules. It raises the prospect of parliamentarians forming a queue a kilometre long snaking through the building.
Former Labour minister Chris Bryant said: “It will be like queuing for the Eiffel Tower. We’ll look like the stupidest parliament in the world.”
The Electoral Reform Society has branded the plans “beyond a farce” which would discriminate against MPs who cannot attend in person for health reasons.
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