Where to find guidance on taking part in proceedings during the current pandemic
On 2 and 4 June 2020, the House agreed temporary changes to the way Members vote in the Chamber and to enable certain Members to take part virtually in proceedings during the pandemic from 8 June.
From 11 January 2021, all Members can participate virtually in proceedings in the Chamber under a scheme run by the Speaker. Under the scheme Members can participate in Questions, Urgent Questions and Statements, debates (including moving a motion) and present paper petitions. From 8 March 2021, Westminster Hall debates were reinstated with Members able to participate virtually. All these temporary arrangements are due to remain in force until 21 June 2021.
- Anyone can find out more about COVID-19 partial virtual participation in proceedings in the House of Commons on the Parliament.uk website
- Members can find guidance on participating virtually in scrutiny proceedings and new ways of voting on the Parliamentary intranet. Please note: this link will only work if you have a parliamentary email account.
The section of this Guide on proxy voting has been updated to reflect changes to the way voting works in the House of Commons, including changes resulting from the current pandemic. Otherwise, all the guidance on this site relates to normal proceedings in the House of Commons.
The Government use oral or written statements to announce policy developments, provide updates, and respond to events.
You have an opportunity to question the minister after an oral statement. You must be present in the Chamber from the start of the statement. Once it’s finished, you stand in your place every time the minister sits down to show that you want to be called to ask a question.
Other statements include:
- Select committee statements: The Chair of a select committee, or another committee member, can make a statement announcing the publication of a report or launch of an inquiry. You can ask questions about the statement.
- Speaker’s statements: The Speaker can make a statement on any subject, including practical matters relating to House business or ceremonial occasions. There’s no opportunity to ask questions.
- Personal statements: MPs can ask the Speaker to allow them to make a personal statement. These are usually related to conduct. There’s no opportunity to ask questions.