A ‘Zoom parliament’ is bad for democracy

Is the new normal here to stay? For the sake of our parliamentary democracy, let’s hope not.  There is little doubt that holding the Government to account has been made harder by the imposition of restrictions during the pandemic. During the Covid crisis, politicians have been too keen to treat parliament as a normal workplace; the truth is that it isn’t and never will be.  If ever there was a good excuse for an ‘us versus them’ rule exemption, surely it would have been to honour the public by ensuring scrutiny and pushback against the Government removing people’s liberties so easily. Instead, parliamentary proceedings have taken the hybrid form of in-person and Zoom

There are serious gaps in the Domestic Abuse Bill

Is the government making the most of its landmark Domestic Abuse Bill? The legislation is currently at committee stage in the House of Lords, with peers discussing hundreds of amendments. Some have little chance of success, but others point to serious gaps in the Bill which could undermine its overall clout. One of the most popular amendments has been tabled by Conservative peer Lord Polak and has support from across the House. It calls for public authorities to have a statutory duty to commission support in the community for victims of abuse. Currently, the bill only creates a statutory duty to provide for victims who are in a refuge or