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The ludicrous decision to scrap the virtual parliament

The government has abolished an efficient digital system and replaced it with a time-consuming queuing process in which only two-thirds of MPs can participate

By Hannah White  

Jacob Rees Mogg and colleagues queue round the Palace of Westminster. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

When the House of Commons returned after the Easter recess, MPs were able to participate in parliamentary business using a hybrid online and in-person system. The technology—developed at remarkable speed—allowed 50 MPs in the chamber and 120 participating online to ask questions, hold debates and scrutinise legislation. Every MP had to vote digitally using an online portal.

The innovative new system was generally considered to be working well, despite complaints about limitations on…

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