It seems that despites its old style image, the House of Lords is quite a connected place with a trial of hand held touchscreen devices in the chamber this means that we will see iPads, smart phones and Blackberry’s being used by members of the upper house.
Lord Brabazon of Tara, the head of administration in the Lords, explained the new rules, saying: ‘If there were to be an oral statement on a newly published white paper it would be entirely appropriate for a noble Lord to use an electronic device to consult the online text of the white paper.
‘We do not, however, think that noble lords should use Google News to search for media comment on the white paper and then relay that comment in an intervention on the statement.’
However, laptops and netbooks will still be banned, as they tend to have the annoying clicking sound when the keyboard is being used.
But Tory peer Lord Cormack raised concerns, saying: ‘It does seem to me that to have hand-held devices is not conducive to good debate and intelligent participation in that debate… anyone sitting in this chamber with a hand-held device can do anything from Google facts to get in touch with a bookmaker.’