VOTING to stop MPs working from home and instead queue up in Parliament has been called 'ludicrous' by a Wiltshire MP.

Instead of staying home and joining government discussions via video calls, MPs now have to show up in person while votes will be carried out in a socially-distanced manner.

The first vote on whether or not this change should be made showed how the new system will work. On Tuesday MPs waited up to 46 minutes in a queue hundreds of metres long that snaked into the House of Commons before they could announce their vote in the chamber.

North Wiltshire MP James Gray was firmly against this change, whilst no vote was recorded for Cotswold MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown.

Mr Gray said: “It was a ridiculous proposal and a ludicrous procedure – the three votes took two hours of queuing and there are better things we could have been doing with that time.

“People who can’t go to Parliament because they are elderly or ill or looking after someone cannot vote, which is absolutely wrong.

“Remote voting is a perfectly good system so let’s use it. MPs are travelling vast distances, using public transport, staying in their second homes and getting everyone in one building while we’re telling the public not to do any of that and limiting six people in one place.

“The whole way Parliament has been working recently seems to not be doing the job it’s supposed to of holding members’ feet to the fire. The chamber has only a handful of backbenchers per party now so we can’t carry out proper scrutiny.

“The whole thing is a sham and we need to admit to that, which is why I was against this change.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson dismissed complaints over MPs queuing to vote by comparing the lengthy wait to those experienced by people at supermarkets. He added that the government wants proxy voting to be in place for those who cannot attend Parliament as they are shielding or elderly.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pushed the PM to end what he called a “completely unnecessary and unacceptable” process, and instead allow remote voting to resume.

Mr Starmer told Prime Minister’s Questions: “If any other employer behaved like this, it’d be a clear and obvious case of indirect discrimination under the Equalities Act.”