Press Release Sunday 19th April 2020
Shadow Digital Minister Chi Onwurah invited to speak to former Members of US Congress at mock hearing
Labour MP and Shadow Digital Minister Chi Onwurah was invited to testify as a witness at a mock congressional hearing. The second hearing of this type hosted by US tech firm POPVOX explored and tested the viability of remote committee proceedings in the US. Chi was invited to provide an expert account of how the UK Parliament is handling the challenge of not being able to meet in person.
Chi said “when I argued for a digital parliament, objections were raised – could it be done, and could it be done quickly? Would it be secure? Might it lead to diminishing the power or visibility of Parliament? Since then over 150 MPs signed my letter urging a Digital Parliament. The Speaker, House authorities and our digital services worked day and night evaluating technology, best practices in Parliaments around the world and procedural options resulting in plans for a remote working hybrid model being agreed upon by the House Commission”
The hearing was hosted by Retired Members of Congress Reps. Brian Bird and Bob Inglis. The witness list included representatives from Microsoft, Zoom, and Retired General and former head of the CIA Gen. David Petraeus who joined Chi and others.
Chi, who has been instrumental in the campaign for a digital UK Parliament said “All over the country, Grandparents are trying video conferencing for the first time and workers are moving the office home. There is real fear at what the future holds. Democratic representatives must show that we can be as adaptable as those we represent and representative democracies must be seen to continue to function, because no crisis should silence the voices of the people.”
The full hearing can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqTwgEjqqgg&feature=youtu.be