Video series: In conversation with UK parliamentarians about lockdown and Covid-19

Published 27 May 2020

A series of recorded conversations between UK parliamentarians and CPA UK Chief Executive, Jon Davies, explore the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the running of Parliament. 

Since the UK went into lockdown, the House of Commons has adopted a hybrid set up for conducting parliamentary business involving a combination of some activity in the Chamber and rest online. Meanwhile, in the House of Lords, all activity has gone virtual.

Implementing these new measures has had a significant impact on the life and work of an MP both in Westminster and in their constituencies. In this series of conversations, representatives discuss some of the challenges as well as opportunities that have arisen, as well as lessons that can be learnt from parliaments across the Commonwealth.


In the first conversation, Jon Davies asks Rt Hon. David Mundell about the first Prime Minister's Questions, following the implementation of a 'virtual parliament'.

In the next interview, Bob Blackman MP highlights the difficulty of proper scrutiny when Parliament is conducted virtually and MPs are not able to be present in the Chamber. 

Sarah Champion MP chaired the International Development Committee's first ever virtual session. Afterwards she spoke to Jon Davies about the challenges and advantages of an online committee hearing, including the potential for a more diverse range of witnesses.


Rt Hon. Maria Miller MP recently led a debate on the Domestic Abuse Bill, one of first under hybrid system. She explained how the UK Parliament is able to keep running and debate legislation.


Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Health and on Disability, Dr Lisa Cameron MP, discusses the important role of APPGs and working cross-party to tackle Covid-19.

In the interview with Harriet Baldwin MP, she speaks about about remote voting and concerns she's raised around lack of adjournment debates in the new hybrid set up. 

Chris Elmore MP discusses challenge of being a Whip under UK Parliament's new hybrid proceedings and in particular having to encourage colleagues to scrutinise, to ask questions, to challenge, but to do it virtually.

Lord Foulkes gives an insight into how the House of Lords has adapted to Covid-19 and moved online. He highlights some of the benefits of a virtual Lords, including greater engagement from a wider pool of Members.

Some of the challenges and opportunities that have come about regarding constituency work as a result of Covid-19 is explored by Ian Liddell-Grainger MP who emphasises the fascinating times Parliament is currently living through.

Finally, Matthew Hamlyn, Strategic Director of the House of Commons Chamber Business Team, highlights the challenge of getting the balance right between MPs’ "inalienable right" to attend Parliament and the need to follow health guidance. He also emphasises the importance of sharing learning with other parliaments.