Sir Edward LeighMain Page: Sir Edward Leigh (Conservative) - Gainsborough)
Department Debates - View all Sir Edward Leigh's debates with the Leader of the House
May I congratulate the hon. Lady on the birth of her child in February? There is no greater joy than a new life coming into the world. As regards how this House operates, the Procedure Committee is looking at the issue of proxy voting for maternity and paternity leave, which seems to be a scheme that has worked well. I know that the hon. Lady gave evidence to the Procedure Committee recently on that subject. Ultimately, though, Parliament must be a coming together of Members from across the country physically, and as soon as it is safe to have it entirely physical once again, that is what we must get back to.
As I understand it—although I will be corrected if this is not right—it is a made affirmative statutory instrument that will have to come to the House in due course, in accordance with the normal procedures. But my right hon. Friend is absolutely right; we are a parliamentary democracy, so decisions made by the Government have to be supported by this House. It is worth bearing in mind that the House passed the emergency legislation which provided the powers for these things to happen.