UK MP’s allowed to Tweet in House of Commons

Tweeting in commons

Tweeting in commons

The House of Commons has shown the green light to use hand-held electronic devices in the main chamber and committee rooms.

On Thursday, MPs voted by 206 votes to 63 against a move to block the use of Twitter. Speaking against Twitter, the Conservative MP, Sir Alan Haselhurst has said that he appreciated his position might make him “a leading candidate for the dinosaur of the year award”.

Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, spoke in favour of Twitter and said only two countries inEuropecurrently banned MPs from tweeting during proceedings and theUKshould not join them. Those MPs concerned about losing the “decorum” in the chamber, Berger said, should consider those of their colleagues who sometimes have “a little snooze” in the house.

The MP for Devizes, Claire Perry, also spoke in favour to permit the use of Twitter, making an intervention which she asserted to be 138 characters and therefore around the length of a tweet. She has told that tweeting helps MPs to remain informed, in close contact and and accountable to their constituents and to ban this would be a strange decision to make at this time forward.

The vote went through in the face of high-profile opposition from figures including the Lib Dem deputy leader, Simon Hughes, who has argued that by allowing such thing in the parliament the members will get distracted by a device and will appear “disconnected” from parliament.

The Commons procedure committee recommended MPs be allowed to use hand-held electronic devices in the chamber, provided that they will be kept silent and will not become a source of distraction and impair decorum. However, lap op usage will not be allowed.

The handheld devices will now enable MPs to read their Commons speeches, and when sitting in select committee meetings they should be able to use laptops as well.

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