SNP say plans to end virtual parliament could put ‘lives at risk’

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said the UK government wants to see Parliament return to physical proceedings as soon as possible.

As MPs last night debated extending the temporary arrangements in the Commons, which have allowed MPs to join debates via webcam, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “It is clear that soon Parliament must set an example of how we move back gradually to a fully-function country again. Our constituents would expect nothing less ... indeed, we should be leading by example.”

Mr Rees-Mogg hinted that virtual parliament arrangements would come to an end as early as next Wednesday.

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That stance is already at odds with many Scottish MPs, who are participating remotely.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks in a near empty Commons. Picture: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

SNP Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Tommy Sheppard MP said last night: “It is crucial that MPs can continue to participate in Parliament virtually. Forcing MPs to travel back and forth hundreds of miles across the UK to Westminster would create an unnecessary risk of infection in our communities – and could put lives at risk.”

Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald tweeted: “Jacob Rees-Mogg says we must adhere to the new rules, but the rules are to work from home where possible – which we can.

“I’m finding the digital proceedings clunky and frustrating, but I’ll take that over risking public health.”

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg. Picture: Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images