Westminster Must Seize The Opportunity to Function for 21st Century

The SNP has called on Westminster to seize the opportunities of current adaptations to proceedings to bring the archaic Parliament into the 21st Century.

Speaking ahead of the first ever PMQs where MPs can ask questions remotely from home, SNP Deputy Westminster Leader Kirsty Blackman (pictured) called on the UK government to reflect on the potential to open up the democratic process.

Recent changes made to Commons procedure means MPs have been able to take part in Committee and Chamber business virtually from home, in line with social distancing measures in place to save lives and to protect the NHS.

Westminster has long been criticised for its late-night sittings and its lack of flexibility for Members with families or caring commitments.

SNP Deputy Westminster Leader Kirsty Blackman MP said:

“The first ever virtual Prime Minister’s Questions should be a catalyst for real change and provide a moment of significant realisation for the UK government.

“The House of Commons has never been keen to endear itself as a parliament sit for the 21st Century but these vital changes in light of the coronavirus crisis highlight the opportunity for Westminster to drag itself into the present day.

“If we want to be able to make political life – elected office or those working behind the scenes – accessible for all, we have to lead by example.

“It’s time for Westminster to wake up to the huge potential that these changes unleash and commit to reforming the Commons for good.”