• Kirsten

Westminster Online

Westminster returns today, albeit in a different format to the one we are all used to seeing. MPs will not be required to attend, a very small number may, but most will follow the strong advice to stay away.


We will instead connect via online technology - TV screens have been installed in the Chamber so we can be there in a virtual sense.


Some teething problems are probably inevitable, but this is a helpful and important development.


We have all seen the First Minister taking questions in a virtual setting from MSPs over recent weeks, and this kind of scrutiny is hugely important, and must also happen at Westminster.


There are important questions to be asked of UKGovt Ministers, and the ability to put these questions directly and receive responses immediately, is vital at this important time.


Westminster at the best of times is archaic in the way it works, so the staff there deserve great credit for moving things forward at an incredible rate to catch up with the modern era. We now need there to be the ability to vote electronically - no matter how things move forward, that is a basic requirement of a modern parliament.


On a lighter note, there has been guidance given that we should be mindful of the backgrounds visible on our screens, and that we should dress in a Parliamentary fashion.


Thankfully, we do not need to bob up and down to catch the Speaker's eye.

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Kirsten Oswald MP for East Renfrewshire

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