iPad?s in the House

The House of Lords has lifted an embargo on the use of electronic devices
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Peers are now free to use iPads, smartphones and other internet-enabled devices during session for a trial period of one year.

A Lords committee described the lifted restrictions as "incomplete, outdated and contradictory".

"Members taking part in proceedings should be able to use electronic devices to access Parliamentary papers and other documents which are clearly and closely relevant to the business before the House," the report proposes.

That means Lords will not be able to Google during debate, amid fears search engine use would disrupt order.

Lord Toby Harris, a Labour peer who sits on the Parliamentary Information Technology Committee, has criticised the ban.

"I am not sure exactly how this is meant to work or even why it is a distinction worth making. Perhaps I am missing something," he said.

Limiting the use of tablets is probably a wise move. Earlier this week Italian MP Simeone di Cagno Abbrescia was hilariously caught using his iPad to browse prostitutes, rather than devoting his attention to an important vote of no confidence.

Despite the Lords' rule change, MPs are still not allowed to use connected devices in the house of commons.



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