MPs could face a “Mogg Conga” along lines of over a kilometre in order to obey social distancing rules as they return to the Commons.
Jacob Rees-Mogg announced last month that the Government was pushing ahead with plans for a physical-only parliament after the Whitsun recess, which ends on June 2.
He has tabled a motion preventing the resumption of virtual voting that allowed MPs to have their say from afar during the pandemic.
However, this has angered many MPs.
Luke Pollard posted a video showing the winding queues representatives will be forced to snail through in what he dubbed the “Mogg Conga”.
He said it’s going to be “just like queuing for a ride at Alton Towers that just turns out to be a bit sh*t”, adding that it’s a “terrible way of doing things”.
This is ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/M77e1kYlm0— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) June 2, 2020
Robert Halfon also communicated his angst, saying the move will turn individuals who, like him, are shielding and those who are ill, self-isolating or based far away from Westminster into “parliamentary eunuchs”.
The chair of the education select committee accused Mr Rees-Mogg and his superiors of lacking empathy and acting like Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro, who has imperilled his people by dismissing Covid-19 concerns.
“Clearly in this case, sadly Jacob and the powers that be are being harsh and unbending. The MPs who genuinely cannot come in, our democratic rights are being snipped away and we’re being turned into parliamentary eunuchs, Mr Halfon told the PA news agency.
“They take the attitude of President Bolsonaro that Covid is just the sniffles and, if you can’t come in, ‘tough luck, we don’t care’. And that to me is entirely wrong.
“Not only will the hundreds of MPs, who for one reason or another will not be able to come in because they are affected by Covid, will not only be denied their fundamental rights but their constituents will not have a voice in Parliament because they will not be able to vote.”
Mr Halfon, who said he was advised not to return by his GP, is backing moves to allow digital voting to resume in amendments to Mr Rees-Mogg’s motion led by Conservative former Cabinet minister Karen Bradley.
Conga line parliament
She is joined by Caroline Nokes and Julian Knight, the Tory MPs who chair the women and equalities, and the digital, culture, media and sport committees, respectively.
The SNP also criticised the creation of a “conga line Parliament”, with Scottish MPs and others representing constituencies far from Westminster facing a challenge to travel to Parliament.