MPs may be able to use technology in the Chamber of Parliament

Some progress:

To quote the recommendation in full (See page 47):

All Members experience competing demands on their time. Members might be more willing to spend time in the Chamber listening to debates or waiting to be called if they were able to do other work at the same time, either dealing with correspondence or perhaps even using a handheld computer or laptop to deal with e-mails. Several people we spoke to raised the question of multitasking. Kitty Ussher felt multitasking in her office was often a better use of her time given the pressures of work. Jo Swinson said Members could multitask in their offices, listening to debate on the television, but could not do so in the Chamber. Emily Thornberry said, ‘Six hours is a very long time just to sit there and not do any work, when you have the time pressures that we have’. Even longer serving Members saw no barrier to the use of hand-held devices in the Chamber provided they did not interfere with the debate or cause a disturbance. Removing barriers to participation is important and the use of handheld devices to keep up to date with e-mails should be permitted in the Chamber provided that it causes no disturbance. The House authorities should ensure that the necessary technical infrastructure is provided to ensure that Members can use handheld devices in the Chamber unobtrusively and without affecting other systems in the Chamber, such as the sound system. [My emphasis]


About Peter Cruickshank

Lecturer in the School of Computing and a member of the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. Interested in information systems, learning, politics, society, security and where they intersect. My attempts at rounding out my character include food, cinema, running, history and, together with my lovely wife, bringing up a cat and a couple of kids.
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