The Liberal Democrat Chief Whip has today called for an urgent all-party meeting to discuss remote working for Parliament, including a special committee of MPs, chaired by the Leader of the Opposition, to scrutinise the Government’s coronavirus response.
In a letter to the Chief Whips of all parties in the House of Commons, Alistair Carmichael MP warned the necessary constraints caused by the spread of coronavirus mean “we must consider alternative arrangements.”
The letter follows confirmation from the Speaker of the House of Commons has backed calls for a "virtual" Parliament to allow MPs to keep on scrutinising the Government during the coronavirus outbreak.
Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael said:
“People deserve reassurance that their representatives can fulfil their duties wherever they are in the country, even in these exceptional circumstances. MPs have to agree a plan that is fit for purpose for Parliament to return from recess on 21 April.
“The Speaker of the House announced important steps towards remote working for Parliament this week. Leaders from all parties must now meet to urgently discuss these and other measures, in a spirit of cooperation in the national interest.
“The proposals for a special committee to evaluate the Government response are just as important. In uncertain times and with sweeping powers enacted, democratic accountability demands that the parties outside of government are at the heart of the discussion. I believe that it is right and proper that the Leader of the Opposition chair this committee.”