BORIS Johnson has dismissed complaints about the “shameful” spectacle of MPs forming long queues to vote by comparing their lengthy wait to those experienced by people in supermarkets.

But the Prime Minister replied to criticisms that MPs who were shielding at home had, because of the ending of virtual voting, effectively become “parliamentary eunuchs,” making clear the Government wanted proxy voting to be in place for those MPs who could not attend Parliament for health reasons as well as those over 70.

Chaotic scenes emerged in the Commons yesterday as MPs joined an Alton Towers-style queue, dubbed by some the “corona conga,” to decide to end online voting during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Social distancing measures required them to join a queue, keep two metres apart, walk through the Commons chamber and announce their vote.

READ MORE: PMQs sketch; goaded Boris reaches the fifth level of irritation under Starmer's barbs

The queue stretched for several hundred metres, snaking throughout the parliamentary estate, with the first vote running for 46 minutes.

During PMQs, Sir Keir Starmer described the scenes as "shameful" and pushed Mr Johnson to end the "completely unnecessary and unacceptable" process, and instead allow remote voting to resume.

"If any other employer behaved like this, it'd be a clear and obvious case of indirect discrimination under the Equalities Act," declared the Labour leader.

But the PM replied: "I do think he needs to consider what is really going on throughout the country, where ordinary people are getting used to queuing for long periods of time to do their shopping or whatever it happens to be.

"I do not think it's unreasonable that we should ask parliamentarians to come back to this place and do their job for the people of this country.

"I know it's difficult and I apologise to colleagues for the inconvenience and I apologise to all those who have particular difficulties because they're shielded or elderly, the change we're making today will mean they should be able to vote by proxy."

READ MORE: PM survives Tory revolt on Commons voting as UK Govt accused of making absent MPs 'parliamentary eunuchs'

An irritated Mr Johnson also said of Sir Keir: "Our policy is test, trace and isolate, his policy is agree, U-turn and then criticise.

"What I can tell him is that I do think the people of this country on the whole will want their parliamentarians to be back at work, doing their job, passing legislation on behalf of the people of this country and that is what this Government intends to do."

The PM was heckled by some MPs, who objected to his suggestion that they were only working when in Parliament.

Mr Johnson ended PMQs by heading towards the chamber exit but stopping for a chat with a Conservative colleague, thereby walking over hazard tape on the floor designed to encourage MPs to keep two metres apart.

The size of the chamber has made it difficult for some MPs to keep their distance as they try to swap seats or move around.