VETERAN MP Pete Wishart found himself on the same side as a Tory yesterday when he agreed with Robert Halfon that Jacob Rees-Mogg’s call for members to return to Westminster left them as “parliamentary eunuchs”.

The pair were appearing remotely on the BBC News Channel when Halfon, who has been advised by his GP not to return to the Commons, said he wanted MPs who could not return to continue voting by video link or proxy.

“What is democratically unjust and entirely wrong is to say to those MPs who genuinely can’t go back that they will be denied their fundamental parliamentary duty which is to vote and what that is doing is in essence making us all parliamentary eunuchs,” he said.

Speaking from his home, Wishart, the SNP member for Perth and North Perthshire, said: “Robert’s spot-on. This is disenfranchising millions of people right across the United Kingdom whose MP will for a number of reasons be unable to participate in a series of votes today … So this is an absolute travesty, a nonsense and to observe Members of Parliament queuing up for over a kilometre just to say ‘yes or no’ to a question will be utterly bizarre and I’m sure the whole nation will be watching this spectacle with mirth, laughter and amazement.”

Wishart said electronic remote voting had been working perfectly and explained why he thought the Tory Government wanted MPs back in the Commons.

He said: “I’ve been able to sit in rural Perthshire with my iPhone to decide how I want to vote in the House of Commons and nothing could be easier. Today nothing could be more difficult in order for me to exercise my vote.

“There’s a couple of reasons I think behind this and one is the very obvious distress of Boris Johnson in the House of Commons as he appeals to his back benchers who are no longer there to cheer him on in whatever ridiculous assertion he’s making.”

However, he admitted that was not the key reason: “I think the thing that started the debate about all this was a general unhappiness among the whips team in the Tory party which then was charged to find other solutions.

“But I believe the major problem at issue is that the Conservative party really believe in this idea of head count vote, something Jacob Rees-Mogg refers to as going back to the 15th century, this right to turn up and assert your democratic principles by appearing physically in Parliament.

“And there seems to be these new fogeys in the Conservative party who really respond to this type of message – they get to speak to Ministers in the division lobby. I’ve been in Parliament almost 20 years and I’ve counted that I’ve probably wasted a month of my life just exercising the decision if it’s yes or no, but they seem to really enjoy and appreciate it and ensure that it’s going to be foisted on the rest of us.”

Wishart said this was a “nonsense” in normal times, but now “it’s nonsense and dangerous”.