Parliament 'must move into the 21st century'

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Indy Politics

Electronic voting and an end to late-night sittings in the Commons should be introduced to help "drag Parliament into the 21st century", Britain's first Green MP said yesterday.

Caroline Lucas protested that MPs would waste more than 250 hours queuing to vote over the course of this five-year parliament.

Bringing in electronic voting to replace the centuries-old practice of crowding into the "ayes" and "noes" lobbies would save each backbencher 90 minutes a week, Ms Lucas said.

In a report demanding sweeping reform of Commons procedure, she also called for an overhaul of arcane parliamentary language to make it more accessible to voters. She urged an end to late-night sittings to make Westminster more family-friendly and measures to stop backbenchers' Bills being "talked out" by opponents. Ms Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: "Now is the time to shake off the image of the 'old boys' club' and move Westminster into the 21st century."