A Conservative has slammed a new voting procedure in the House of Commons - saying it has effectively disenfranchised both him and his constituents.

Rob Halfon who represents Harlow has said he's effectively been turned into a "Parliamentary eunuch" by the new rules, introduced by the leader of the house and fellow Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg.

MPs intending to vote in the Commons on Tuesday will be made to form huge, winding queues through Parliament after the government dropped virtual proceedings, forcing Members to attend in person if they wish to participate.

The government scrapped a hybrid system - in place since the end of April -which enabled parliamentarians to either attend the Commons in person or contribute to proceedings from afar via Zoom.

The system allowed those who are 'shielding' - people considered clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 - to participate in proceedings without causing risk to their health.

But Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has insisted MPs must return to physical-only proceedings, claiming the ability to scrutinise had been diminished by the hybrid system.

The move has been followed by an outpouring of anger from MPs across the House who say their "democratic rights are being snipped away".

How the new system looks Credit: Jeff Smith MP/Twitter

But speaking to ITV News Anglia political correspondent Emma Hutchinson, Mr Halfon, who has been shielding for the last ten weeks said he was being denied his democractic rights

"In essence what’s happening is that they are snipping away at my democratic rights, turning me into a Parliamentary eunuch, because they’re saying you cannot vote you are disenfranchised, Robert Halfon, because you are shielding at home. Believe me, I’d love to be out, I’d be out in a second. I’ve been at home over 10 weeks. I want to go to Parliament but they’re saying no you can’t vote and also, not only are you disenfranchised, but we are going to disenfranchise your Harlow constituents too and that is wrong."

Rob Halfon
MPs must still stay two metres apart in the Commons, but MPs will no longer be able to dial in via Zoom. Credit: Parliament

St Albans Lib Dem MP Daisy Cooper also tweeted her anger at the move.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, 75, described the move as "damaging" and said it will "limit accountability & create a toothless Parliament".

But Mr Rees-Mogg has argued that democracy would “once again flourish”, having been “curtailed under the hybrid halfway house” which allowed MPs to take part in debates and vote remotely while up to 50 were in the chamber.

And he insisted that the government is working to establish how shielding MPs could continue to take part.

But the proposal has faced fierce criticism – with the Electoral Reform Society warning it poses a “real threat for democratic representation and political equality” if extremely vulnerable MPs are unable to vote.

Labour and opposition parties have tabled an amendment to the motion seeking to retain remote voting.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has said that – if MPs need to vote on Tuesday – they will do so by filing past the left side of the despatch box table to vote Aye, and to the right side to vote No.

Votes on subsequent days will be carried out under the arrangements agreed by MPs on Tuesday.

Sir Lindsay said it was “clear” that the House cannot conduct divisions safely via the usual voting lobbies, as it would be “difficult to maintain social distancing”.

MPs will be asked to only attend the chamber when they are listed to be called to speak during a particular proceeding.

Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner also blasted the new system after the first two votes today, branding it a "ludicrous situation,

He said:

"This is no way to run a modern democracy. Frankly we are going to be the laughing stock of the world. In no way was the hybrid Parliament perfect, but there was nothing wrong with the voting part of the system. Click a button. Done. Now Jacob Rees Mogg and his cronies have excluded MPs who are shielding and denied their constituents a vote. There are people dying in hospital beds across Britain, people's livelihoods are going down the drain and the United States is on fire. And we're in a queue, quite literally going round in circles."

Daniel Zeichner MP
The MP Took this photo as he stood in a mile long queue waiting to vote on how to vote Credit: Daniel Zeichner

His Labour colleague Clive Lewis, MP For Norwich South, described it as dystopian.

Mid Norfolk Conservative MP George Freeman claimed his Parliamentary colleague was trying to take parliament back to the 18th Century.