The Constitution Unit


Deliberation in a virtual parliament and online citizens’ assembly

1 June 2020

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The Covid-19 lockdown has seen parliament conducting much of its business online, and Climate Assembly UK (commissioned by six parliamentary committees) also forced to hold its final weekend online. What has been lost as a result, and what lessons might be learned for future online deliberation? What do these developments teach us more broadly about the dynamics of political deliberation, including the role played by informal communication when face to face?


  • Baroness (Nicky) Morgan of Cotes, former Secretary of State for Education, and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and former Chair of the Commons Treasury Committee
  • Greg Power, Founder and Board Chair of Global Partners Governance. Between 2001 and 2005 he was Special Adviser to successive Leaders of the House of Commons, Robin Cook and Peter Hain
  • Sarah Allan, Head of Engagement at Involve and project lead for Climate Assembly UK
  • Doreen Grove, Head of Open Government in the Scottish Government