In order to allow MPs to continue to question ministers and scrutinise legislation throughout the coronavirus crisis, plans have been put in place for a ‘hybrid’ Parliament.
Today, 21 April, a motion is being presented to approve the plans, which will allow up to 120 MPs to take part in the proceedings virtually at any one time, with only around 50 MPs allowed in the chamber under strict social distancing rules.
Along with most members of parliament, Rob will participate by video link in the weeks ahead, carrying out the parliamentary side of his role remotely.
Like so many others across the country who are working from home, Rob has been using technology over recent weeks to continue to fulfil his role as an MP, with virtual meetings and telephone advice surgeries.
As a member of the Justice Select Committee, Rob has been questioning witnesses via video link on the impact of coronavirus on the Prison and Probation Service – these meetings can be watched by the public live online.
The coronavirus crisis has seen thousands of organisations adapt the way they work and Parliament is no exception.
“The introduction of a ‘hybrid’ Parliament is an important step that will allow me to continue to fully represent my constituents in Westminster throughout the coronavirus crisis. The ability to question ministers in Parliament is crucial and I know a lot of hard work has gone into enabling this to happen, even when MPs cannot all be in the chamber.
“Alongside representing my constituents in Parliament, a significant part of my job as an MP is to help my constituents whenever I can. I know that this is a very difficult time for many people, individual constituents and businesses alike. Just yesterday, I was in touch with several local traders who are doing a fantastic job delivering food across Aylesbury and nearby villages, as well as supporting local farmers, artisans and suppliers.
“My team and I are receiving hundreds of emails each week and we are committed to ensuring that we help as many constituents as possible. This includes continuing to make representations to ministers on key issues of concern.
“I have also been pleased to have the opportunity to support the brilliant voluntary groups across my constituency. This week I will be continuing to help volunteers collecting and delivering food and prescriptions to those most in need, and I feel privileged to be involved in these vital efforts.
“Like so many people across the country, the way I do my job is different during the coronavirus crisis. I am extremely grateful to everybody who has adapted the way they live and work so that together we can reduce the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Images: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor